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XI3 I 



North Carolina Courts 

Annual Reyort 

of the 

Administrative office of the courts 




gggss 



.- 



1996-97 


















NORTH CAROLINA COURTS 



1996-97 




ANNUAL REPORT 

of the 

ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE COURTS 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 

Part I: The Present Court System 

North Carolina Judicial BranchFact Sheet 1 

Original Jurisdiction and Routes of Appeal 2 

The Present Court System 3 

Judicial Department Personnel 12 

Map of Judicial Divisions and Superior Court Districts 13 

Map of District Court Districts 14 

Map of Prosecutorial Districts 15 

Part II: Court Resources 

Appropriations and Expenditures -- Ten- Year Trends 19 

Expenditures -- Current Fiscal Year 20 

Receipts -- Ten- Year Trends and Current Fiscal Year 21 

Fees, Fines, and Forfeitures ~ Distributed to Counties and Municipalities 22 

Cost and Case Data on Representation of Indigents 24 

State Mental Health Hospital Commitment Hearings 25 

Assigned Counsel and Guardian ad Litem Cases and Expenditures 26 

Part IH: Caseload Data 

Appellate Courts Data 

The Supreme Court 34 

Appeals Docketed and Disposed — Ten- Year Trends 35 

Petitions Docketed and Allowed — Ten- Year Trends 35 

Caseload Inventory 36 

Submission of Cases Reaching Decision Stage 37 

Disposition of Petitions 37 

Disposition of Appeals .....38 

Processing Time for Appeals Disposed by Opinion 39 

The Court of Appeals 40 

Filings and Dispositions — Ten- Year Trends 41 

Filings and Dispositions — Current Fiscal Year 41 

Manner of Case Dispositions 41 

Trial Courts Data 

Trial Courts Case Data 43 

Caseload Inventory and Median Ages of Superior Court Cases 44 

Manner ofDisposition of Superior Court Cases 45 

Caseload Inventory and Median Ages of District Court Cases 46 

Manner ofDisposition of District Court Cases 46 

Matters Alleged in Juvenile Petitions 47 

Adjudicatory Hearings for Juvenile Matters 47 

Special Programs Data 48 

Arbitration Program 50 

Custody and Visitation Mediation Program 53 

Community Penalties Program 55 

i 



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in 2013 



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PARTI 



THE PRESENT COURT SYSTEM 



NORTH CAROLINA JUDICIAL BRANCH FACT SHEET 
Fiscal Year July 1, 1996 - June 30, 1997 



Population and Area Served: 



7,400,000 Population (approximate) 
100 Counties 



Court Organization: 



46 Superior Court Districts for Administrative Purposes 

62 Superior Court Districts for Elective Purposes 

39 District Court Districts for Administrative Purposes 

40 District Court Districts for Elective Purposes 
39 Prosecutorial Districts 

1 1 Public Defender Districts 



Numbers of Justices and Judges: 



7 Supreme Court Justices 

12 Court of Appeals Judges 

99 Superior Court Judges 

198 District Court Judges 



Numbers of Other Authorized Personnel: 



39 District Attorneys 

371 Assistant District Attorneys 

1 00 Clerks of Superior Court 

1,989 Clerk Personnel 

687 Magistrates 

1 1 Public Defenders 



Total Judicial Branch Personnel: 



5,195 



105 Assistant Public Defenders 

12 Trial Court Administrators 

461 Juvenile Services Personnel 

115 Guardian ad Litem Personnel 

239 Administrative Office of the Courts 

749 Other Staff 



BUDGET 



Total Judicial Branch Appropriations, 1996-97: 
Percent Increase from 1995-96: 

Total Judicial Branch Appropriations as a Percent of Total 
State General Fund Appropriations: 



$301,483,920 
5.79% 

2.93% 



CASES FILED AND DISPOSED, FISCAL YEAR 1996-97 




% Change 




% Change 




From 




From 


Court 


Filed 1995-96 


Disposed 


1995-96 


Supreme Court: 








Appeals 


169 -1.7% 


188 


-18.6% 


Petitions 


544 8.4% 


556 


25.5% 


Court of Appeals: 








Appeals 


1,565 6.5% 


1,559 


9.4% 


Petitions 


523 13.2% 


459 


14.5% 


Superior Court*: 


270,100 5.5% 


258,554 


4.1% 


District Court**: 


2,518,067 2.3% 


2,410,496 


2.5% 


*Includes Felonies, Misdemeanors, Civil, Estates, and Special Proceedings. 






**Includes Criminal Non-Motor Vehicle, Criminal Motor Vehicle, Infractions, Small Claims, Domestic Relations, General Civil 


and Magistrate Appeals/Transfers, and Civil License Revocations (Civil License Revocations are counted only at filing). 



THE PRESENT COURT SYSTEM 

Original Jurisdiction and Routes of Appeal 
(As of June 30, 1997) 



Recommendations 
from Judicial 

Standards 
Commission 



SUPREME 
COURT 

7 Justices 



Final Order of 

Utilities Commission 

in General 

Rate Cases 



Original Jurisdiction 

All felony cases, civil 

cases in excess of 

SI 0,000* 



Decisions of 

Most Administrative 

Agencies 



Original Jurisdiction 
Probate and estates, 
special proceedings 

(■condemnations, 

adoptions, partitions, 

foreclosures, etc ;, in 

certain ca.ses, may 

accept guilty plca.s 

or admissions of 

responsibility and 

enter judgment 



(1) 



COURT OF 
APPEALS 

12 Judges 



(2) 



SUPERIOR 
COURTS 

99 Judges 




civil cases 



criminal cases 
(for trial de novo) 



Clerks of 
Superior Court 

(100) 



Decisions of Industrial 

Commission, State Bar, 

Property Tax Commission, 

Commissioner of Insurance, 

Dept. of Human Resources, 

Commissioner of Banks, 

Administrator of Savings 

and Loans, Secretary of 

Environment, Health, 

and Natural Resources, 

and the Utilities 

Commission (in cases other 

than general rate cases) 







• Original Jurisdiction 
; Misdemeanor cases not 


DISTRICT 
COURTS 

198 Judges 


j assigned to magistrates; 
j probable cause hearings; 
j accept guilty pleas in certain 
felony cases; civil cases 
$10,000* or less; juvenile 


i 


L 


proceedings; domestic j 
j relations; mental health 
hospital commitments 








Original Jurisdiction 
1 Accept certain misdemeanor j 


Magistrates 

(687) 


guilty pleas and 
j admissions of responsibility 
j to infractions; worthless ; 
j check misdemeanors 
I $2,000 or less; small 






j claims $3,000 or less; 

j valuation of property 

in certain estate cases 



j Appeals from the Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court arc by right in cases involving constitutional questions, and cases in which there has 
been dissent in the Court of Appeals In its discretion, the Supreme Court may review Court of Appeals decisions in cases of significant public 
involving legal principles of major significance. 
| peals from these agencies lie directly to the Court of Appeals. 
As a matter of right, appeal-, yo directly to the Supreme Court in first degree murder cases in which the defendant has been sentenced to death, 
and in Utilities Commission general rate cases In all other cases appeal as of right is to the Court of Appeals. In its discretion, the Supreme 
may hear appeals directly from the trial courts in ca.ses of significant public interest, cases involving legal principles of major 
significance, where delay would cause substantial harm, or when the Court of Appeals docket is unusually full. 

*"Ihe district and superior courts have concurrent original jurisdiction in civil actions (G.S. 7A-240). However, the district court division is the 
proper division for the trial of civil actions in which the amount in controversy is $10,000 or less; and the superior court division is the proper 
drvuion for the trial of civil actions in which the amount in controversy exceeds $10,000 (G.S 7A-243). 



THE PRESENT COURT SYSTEM 



This section describes the present court system in 
North Carolina by providing a general summary of the 
organization and functions of the offices comprising the 
Judicial Branch. Fiscal, personnel, caseload, and pro- 
gram data are set forth in other sections of this report. 

Court Structure 

Article IV of the North Carolina Constitution 
establishes the General Court of Justice, which "shall 
constitute a unified judicial system for purposes of 
jurisdiction, operation, and administration, and shall 
consist of an Appellate Division, a Superior Court 
Division, and a District Court Division." The Consti- 
tution also states that the "General Assembly shall 
have no power to deprive the judicial department of any 
power or jurisdiction that rightfully pertains to it as a 
co-ordinate department of the government, nor shall it 
establish or authorize any courts other than as 
permitted by this Article." 

The Appellate Division consists of the Supreme 
Court and the Court of Appeals. The Superior Court 
Division is composed of the superior courts, which are 
the general jurisdiction trial courts for the state. The 
District Court Division comprises the district courts, 
which are the trial courts with original jurisdiction of 
the overwhelming majority of the cases handled by the 
state's court system. The structure of the present court 
system is shown in the preceding "Original Jurisdiction 
and Routes of Appeal" chart. 

The Supreme Court 

At the apex of the North Carolina court system is the 
seven-member Supreme Court, which sits in Raleigh to 
consider and decide questions of law presented in civil 
and criminal cases on appeal. The Chief Justice and 
six associate justices are elected to eight-year terms by 
the voters of the state. The Court sits only en banc, 
that is, all members sitting on each case. 

The Supreme Court has general power to supervise 
and control the proceedings of the other courts of the 
General Court of Justice. The General Assembly has 
delegated to the Supreme Court the authority to pre- 
scribe the rules of practice and procedure for the trial 
court divisions. The Supreme Court also promulgates 
the yearly schedule of superior court sessions in the 
100 counties, and appoints the Clerk of the Supreme 
Court, the Librarian of the Supreme Court Library, and 
the Appellate Division Reporter. 

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has certain 
other administrative responsibilities, which include 
appointing the Director and the Assistant Director of 



the Administrative Office of the Courts, designating a 
Chief Judge from among the judges of the Court of Ap- 
peals and a Chief District Court Judge from among the 
district court judges in each of the state's district court 
districts, assigning superior court judges to the sched- 
uled sessions of superior court in the 100 counties, 
transferring district court judges to other districts for 
temporary or specialized duty, appointing certain 
members of both the Judicial Standards Commission 
and the Courts Commission, appointing the Appellate 
Defender, and appointing the Chief Administrative 
Law Judge of the Office of Administrative Hearings. 

The only original case jurisdiction exercised by the 
Supreme Court is in the censure and removal of judges 
upon the non-binding recommendations of the Judicial 
Standards Commission. The Court's appellate juris- 
diction includes cases on appeal by right from the 
Court of Appeals (cases involving substantial constitu- 
tional questions or dissent in the Court of Appeals), 
cases on appeal by right from the Utilities Commission 
(cases involving final orders or decisions in general 
rate matters), criminal cases on appeal by right from 
the superior courts (first degree murder cases in which 
the defendant has been sentenced to death), and cases 
in which review has been granted in the Supreme 
Court's discretion. Discretionary review directly from 
the trial courts may be granted when delay would likely 
cause substantial harm or when the workload of the 
courts of the Appellate Division is such that the expe- 
ditious administration of justice requires it. However, 
most appeals are heard only after review by the Court 
of Appeals. 

The Court of Appeals 

The 12-judge Court of Appeals is North Carolina's 
intermediate appellate court. It hears a majority of the 
appeals originating from the state's trial courts. The 
Court regularly sits in Raleigh, although it may sit in 
other locations in the state as authorized by the Su- 
preme Court. Sessions outside of Raleigh have not 
been regular or frequent. Judges of the Court of Ap- 
peals are elected by popular statewide vote for eight- 
year terms. A Chief Judge for the Court is designated 
by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and serves in 
that capacity at the pleasure of the Chief Justice. 

Cases are heard by panels of three judges, with the 
Chief Judge responsible for assigning members of the 
Court to the four panels. Insofar as practicable, each 
judge is to be assigned to sit a substantially equal 
number of times with each other judge. The Chief 
Judge presides over the panel of which he or she is a 



member and designates a presiding judge for the other 
panels. 

One member of the Court of Appeals, designated by 
the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, serves as the 
chair of the Judicial Standards Commission. In the 
event of a recommendation from the Commission to 
censure or remove from office a justice of the Supreme 
Court, a seven-member panel of Court of Appeals 
judges would have sole jurisdiction to consider and act 
upon the recommendation. 

The bulk of the caseload of the Court of Appeals 
consists of cases appealed from the trial courts. The 
Court also hears appeals directly from the Industrial 
Commission, along with appeals from final orders or 
decisions of certain administrative agencies, as shown 
on the preceding jurisdiction chart. Appeals from the 
decisions of other administrative agencies lie first 
within the jurisdiction of the superior courts. 

The Superior Courts 

The superior courts are the state's general jurisdic- 
tion trial courts, with jurisdiction over the most serious 
crimes (felonies) and civil cases with substantial 
amounts in controversy. 

The superior courts hold sessions in the county seats 
of North Carolina's 100 counties. For electoral pur- 
poses, the counties are grouped into 62 superior court 
districts, which are collapsed into 46 districts for ad- 
ministrative purposes. One or more superior court 
judges are elected by statewide ballot for eight-year 
terms in each of the superior court electoral districts. 

In 1996-97, there were 90 "resident" superior court 
judges In addition, nine "special" superior court 
judges have been authorized by the legislature and 
appointed by the Governor. Each administrative 
district has one "senior resident superior court judge" 
who has certain administrative responsibilities (such as 
providing for civil case calendaring procedures) for his 
or her home district. In districts with more than one 
resident judge, the judge senior in service on the 
superior court bench exercises these supervisory 
powers. 

The superior court districts are grouped into four 
divisions for the rotation of superior court judges, as 
shown on the following superior court district map. 
Within the division, resident superior court judges ro- 
tate among the districts and hold court for at least six 
months in each, then move on to their next assignment. 
The special superior court judges may be assigned to 
hold court in any county Assignments of all superior 
court judges arc made by the Chief Justice of the Su- 
preme Court Under the North Carolina Constitution, 
at least two sessions of superior court are held annually 
in each county 'The vast majority of counties have 



more than the constitutional minimum. Many larger 
counties have superior court sessions about every week 
in the year. 

The superior court has original jurisdiction in all 
felony cases and in those misdemeanor cases specified 
in G.S. 7A-271. Most misdemeanors are tried first in 
the district court, from which conviction may be ap- 
pealed to the superior court for trial de novo by a jury. 
The superior court is the "proper" court for the trial of 
civil cases where the amount in controversy exceeds 
$10,000, and it has jurisdiction over appeals from most 
administrative agencies, as indicated on the preceding 
jurisdiction chart. Regardless of the amount in contro- 
versy, the original civil jurisdiction of the superior 
court does not include domestic relations cases, which 
are heard in the district court, or probate and estates 
matters and certain special proceedings heard first by 
the clerk of superior court. Rulings of the clerk are 
within the appellate jurisdiction of the superior court. 

The District Courts 

The district courts, the state's limited jurisdiction 
trial court level, dispose of the vast majority of the 
cases filed in the courts. 

Under the North Carolina Constitution, the General 
Assembly is required to divide the state into a "con- 
venient" number of local court districts and prescribe 
where the district courts shall sit, but district court must 
sit in at least one place in each county. As shown on 
the following map, there were 39 district court districts 
for administrative purposes during 1996-97, with each 
district composed of one or more counties. (There are 
40 district court districts for electoral purposes, with 
District 9 being split into electoral districts 9 and 9B.) 
One or more district court judges are elected to four- 
year terms by the voters of each of the district court 
districts. During 1996-97, there were 198 district court 
judges. 

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court appoints a 
chief district court judge from among the elected judges 
in each district court district. Subject to the Chief 
Justice's general supervision, each chief judge 
exercises administrative supervision and authority over 
the operation of the district courts and magistrates in 
the district. Each chief judge is responsible for 
scheduling sessions of district court and assigning 
judges, supervising the calendaring of non-criminal 
cases, assigning matters to magistrates, making 
arrangements for court reporting and jury trials in civil 
cases, and supervising the discharge of clerical 
functions in the district courts. The chief district court 
judges meet in conference at least once a year upon the 
call of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Among 
other matters, this annual conference adopts a uniform 



schedule of waivable offenses and fines for their 
violation, for use by magistrates and clerks of court. 

The jurisdiction of the district court is extensive. It 
includes preliminary "probable cause" hearings in fel- 
ony cases, and virtually all misdemeanor and infraction 
cases. (Infractions are non-criminal violations of law 
that are not punishable by imprisonment, a category of 
case created effective September 1, 1986, when the 
General Assembly decriminalized many minor traffic 
offenses.) The district court also has jurisdiction to 
accept guilty pleas in certain felony cases, and the 
court's jurisdiction extends to all juvenile proceedings, 
mental health hospital commitments, and domestic re- 
lations cases. In addition, the district courts share 
concurrent jurisdiction with the superior courts in gen- 
eral civil cases, but are the "proper" courts for general 
civil cases where the amount in controversy is $10,000 
or less. 

Most trials in criminal and infraction cases in district 
court are by district court judges; no trial by jury is 
available for such cases. Appeals are to the superior 
court for trial de novo before a jury. District court 
judges also hold felony probable cause hearings. Civil 
cases in district court may be tried before a jury; ap- 
peals are to the North Carolina Court of Appeals. 

Magistrates 

The North Carolina Constitution provides that one or 
more magistrates "who shall be officers of the District 
Court" shall be appointed in each county. Magistrates 
are appointed by the senior resident superior court 
judge and are supervised by the chief district court 
judge of their district. A total of 687 magistrates (32 
part-time) were authorized as of June 30, 1997. 

Magistrates have substantial authorities in certain 
misdemeanor and infraction cases, including the power 
to hear and enter judgments in certain worthless check 
cases and to accept written appearances, waivers of 
trial or hearing, and pleas of guilty or admissions of 
responsibility, and enter judgments in certain misde- 
meanor and infraction cases, in accordance with a 
uniform schedule adopted by the Conference of Chief 
District Court Judges. They also may conduct initial 
appearances, grant bail before trial in noncapital cases, 
and issue arrest and search warrants. Decisions of 
magistrates in criminal cases may be appealed to the 
district court judge. 

In the civil area, if the amount in controversy is 
$3,000 or less and the plaintiff in the case so requests, 
a civil case may be designated a "small claims" case 
and assigned to a magistrate for hearing. Magistrates' 
decisions may be appealed to the district court. 



The District Attorneys 

The district attorney represents the state in all crimi- 
nal actions brought in the superior and district courts in 
the district, as well as in juvenile cases in which the 
juvenile is represented by an attorney, and is responsi- 
ble for ensuring that infraction cases are prosecuted 
efficiently. In addition to prosecutorial functions, the 
district attorney is responsible for calendaring criminal 
cases for trial. 

During 1996-97, the state was divided into 39 
prosecutorial districts, as shown on the following 
prosecutorial district map. The boundaries of the 
prosecutorial districts correspond to those of the 39 
district court administrative districts. A district attor- 
ney is elected by the voters in each district for a four- 
year term. 

G.S. 7A-60 specifies the number of assistant district 
attorneys that each district attorney may employ on a 
full-time basis (totaling 367 as of June 30, 1997; four 
additional assistants were employed in time-limited, 
grant-funded positions). Each district attorney is 
authorized to employ an administrative assistant to aid 
in preparing cases for trial and to expedite the criminal 
court docket. The General Assembly has also author- 
ized the district attorney in certain districts to employ 
an investigatorial assistant who aids in the investiga- 
tion of cases prior to trial. All district attorneys may 
employ at least one victim and witness assistant. 

Representation of Indigent Persons 

The state provides legal counsel for indigent persons 
in a variety of actions and proceedings, as specified in 
G.S. 7A-450 et seq. These include, among others, any 
case in which imprisonment or a fine of $500 or more 
is likely to be adjudged; juvenile proceedings that may 
result in confinement, transfer to superior court for trial 
on a felony charge, or termination of parental rights; 
proceedings alleging mental illness or incapacity that 
may result in hospitalization or sterilization; extradi- 
tion proceedings; certain probation or parole revocation 
hearings; and certain requests for post-conviction relief 
from a criminal judgment. 

Juveniles alleged to be within the jurisdiction of the 
court for allegations of delinquency or for other matters 
have the right to be represented by counsel in all pro- 
ceedings, and are conclusively presumed to be indigent 
and thus entitled to state-appointed counsel. In delin- 
quency matters, juveniles are represented by public 
defenders, where present, or by private counsel. 
Where a juvenile petition alleges that a juvenile is 
abused, neglected, or dependent, an indigent parent has 



a right to appointed counsel (G.S. 7A-587). 

Public Defenders 

During 1996-97, 13 counties were served by 11 
public defender offices, in Defender Districts 3A, 3B 
(Carteret County only), 12, 14, 15B, 16 A, 16B, 18, 26, 
27A, and 28. Public defenders are appointed by the 
senior resident superior court judge, and their terms are 
four years. By statute, public defenders are entitled to 
the numbers of assistants and investigators as may be 
authorized by the Administrative Office of the Courts. 

In public defender districts, most representation of 
indigents is handled by the public defender's office. 
However, in certain circumstances, such as a potential 
conflict of interest or when the proper administration of 
justice requires it, the court or the public defender may 
assign private counsel to represent an indigent person. 

Private Counsel 

In areas of the state that are not served by a public 
defender office, representation of indigent persons is 
prodded almost entirely by assignment of private 
counsel. (In juvenile and civil cases, the Administra- 
tive Office of the Courts has authority to provide 
representation by means of specialized contracts with 
one or more attorneys. Such contracts exist in some 
areas of the state.) Private counsel are appointed by 
the clerk or judge, or in certain circumstances, by a 
public defender. Compensation of private counsel is by 
order of the judge who presided in the case. Pursuant 
to statutory authority, the State Bar has promulgated 
rules and regulations relating to the qualifications and 
appointment of counsel. 

A ppellate Defender 

Pursuant to assignments made by trial court judges, 
it is the responsibility of the appellate defender and 
staff to provide appellate criminal defense services to 
indigent persons who appeal their convictions to the 
North Carolina Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. 
The appellate defender also maintains materials and 
provides consulting services to assist attorneys ap- 
pointed to represent indigent defendants. The appellate 
defender recruits members of the bar to represent 
capital defendants in post-conviction proceedings. 

The appellate defender is appointed by and is under 
the general supervision of the Chief Justice. The Chief 
Justice ma\. consistent with the resources available to 
the appellate defender and to ensure quality criminal 
defense services, authorize certain appeals to be as- 
signed to a local public defender office or to private 
v igned counsel instead of to the appellate defender. 

During 1996-97, the appellate defender office ac- 
cepted appointment in 69 appeals or petitions for writ 



of certiorari, and filed 83 briefs in the Court of Appeals 
and the Supreme Court. 

Special Counsel 

The state provides a full-time special counsel at each 
of the state's four mental health hospitals, to represent 
indigent patients in commitment or recommitment 
hearings before a district court judge. Each patient 
admitted to a mental health hospital pursuant to the 
civil commitment procedures of Chapter 122C of the 
General Statutes is entitled to a judicial hearing soon 
after the initial admission, as well as periodic hearings 
to review the patient's commitment status. 

Guardian ad Litem Program 

When a petition alleges juvenile abuse or neglect, 
the judge is required to appoint a guardian ad litem, 
and when a petition alleges dependency, the judge may 
appoint a guardian ad litem. If the guardian ad litem is 
not an attorney, the judge also is to appoint an attorney 
to represent the juvenile's interests (G.S. 7A-586). 
Guardians ad litem and attorney advocates are pro- 
vided through the Guardian ad Litem Services Program 
of the Administrative Office of the Courts, which is 
summarized in a later section. 

The Clerks of Superior Court 

A clerk of superior court is elected for a four-year 
term by the voters in each of North Carolina's 100 
counties. Clerks of superior court are ex officio judges 
of probate. Their original jurisdiction includes the pro- 
bate of wills and administration of decedents' estates. 
It also includes such "special proceedings" as adop- 
tions, condemnations of private property under the 
public's right of eminent domain, proceedings to estab- 
lish boundaries, foreclosures, and certain proceedings 
to administer the estates of minors and incompetent 
adults. The right of appeal from the clerks' judgments 
in such cases lies to the superior court. 

In proceedings before them, the clerks have authority 
to issue subpoenas and other process, including orders 
to show cause, and otherwise exercise control of such 
proceedings, including through certain contempt pow- 
ers. Clerks administer oaths, take acknowledgment and 
proof of execution of instruments or writings, issue 
arrest warrants and search warrants, and may conduct 
initial appearances and fix conditions of release in non- 
capital cases. 

Clerks of superior court arc also empowered to issue 
subpoenas and other process necessary to execute the 
judgments entered in the superior and district courts of 
the county. For certain misdemeanor offenses and 
infractions, clerks arc authorized to accept defendants' 
waivers of appearance and pleas of guilty or 



admissions of responsibility and to impose penalties or 
fines in accordance with a uniform schedule adopted by 
the Conference of Chief District Court Judges. 

Clerks perform administrative duties for both the 
superior and district courts of the county. Among these 
duties are the maintenance of court records and 
indexes, including the records of all case filings and 
dispositions, as well as the control and accounting of 
funds, and the furnishing of information to the 
Administrative Office of the Courts. For counties other 
than those in districts served by trial court 
administrators, the clerk is responsible for day-to-day 
civil calendar preparation. In many counties, the 
clerk's staff assists the district attorney in preparing 
criminal case calendars as well. 

Trial Court Administrators 

Responsibilities for managing the day-to-day ad- 
ministrative operations of the trial courts are placed by 
statute and by delegation of the Chief Justice of the 
Supreme Court with senior resident superior court 
judges and chief district court judges. Within each 
district, these officials have considerable discretion in 
managing the operation of their courts, including such 
areas as civil case calendaring, jury utilization, and 
establishing and managing local rules. 

In certain districts, trial court administrators provide 
professional assistance to court officials in managing 
trial court operations. In 1979, following favorable 
results in a grant-funded pilot project, the General 
Assembly established state-funded trial court 
administrator positions. During 1996-97, twelve trial 
court administrators served the following superior court 
districts: 3A, 3B, 4A (district court matters only), 4B, 
5, 10, 12, 13, 14, 21, 26, 27A, 28, and 29. 

The general duties of trial court administrators, set 
forth in G.S. 7A-356, include assisting in managing 
civil dockets and improving jury utilization. The spe- 
cific duties and responsibilities assigned to trial court 
administrators vary from district to district, reflecting 
the priorities of local court officials and the demands of 
the local environment. 

Trial court administrators coordinate alternative 
methods of dispute resolution, including arbitration, 
summary jury trials, custody mediation, and mediated 
settlement conferences, and serve as a technical re- 
source to other court officials, including the chief 
district court judge, clerk of superior court, district at- 
torney, and public defender. Trial court administrators 
are often responsible for coordinating the court's in- 
volvement in issues relating to court facilities, pretrial 
release programs, and jails, and may serve as the 
court's liaison with other governmental and private 
organizations, the press, and the public. 



Following screening by the Administrative Office of 
the Courts, a trial court administrator is appointed by 
and serves under the general supervision of the senior 
resident superior court judge in each district. 

Court-Ordered Arbitration 

In 1989, following successful experience in a pilot 
program, the General Assembly authorized court- 
ordered, non-binding arbitration statewide. As of June 
30, 1997, arbitration programs were operating in 55 
counties in 25 superior court districts. 

In these counties, all civil cases involving claims for 
money damages of $15,000 or less are subject to court- 
ordered, nonbinding arbitration in accordance with the 
Supreme Court's "Rules for Court-Ordered Arbitration 
in North Carolina," pursuant to G.S. 7A-37.1. The 
Rules specifically exclude from arbitration certain 
property disputes, family law matters, estates, special 
proceedings, and class actions. Parties may, however, 
voluntarily submit any civil dispute to arbitration, with 
court approval. 

By rule, the arbitration hearing is conducted within 
60 days of the filing of the last responsive pleading. 
Parties may stipulate to an arbitrator; otherwise, the 
court appoints an arbitrator from its list of trained at- 
torneys who have been approved to serve as 
arbitrators. An arbitrator is paid a fee by the court for 
each arbitration hearing. 

As a rule, arbitration hearings are limited to one 
hour, and take place in the courthouse. The hearings 
are conducted in a serious but relaxed atmosphere, with 
the rules of evidence serving only as a guide. Once the 
hearing is concluded, the arbitrator renders an award, 
which is filed with the court. A party dissatisfied with 
the award may proceed to a trial de novo by filing a 
written request with the court; otherwise, the court en- 
ters judgment on the award. 

Child Custody and Visitation Mediation 

In 1989, following a successful pilot program, the 
General Assembly authorized mediation of custody and 
visitation disputes in domestic relations cases state- 
wide. As of June 30, 1997, 16 districts had a custody 
and visitation mediation program. 

Under G.S. 50-13.1 and G.S. 7A-494, the court 
refers contested custody and visitation issues to 
mediation before those issues are tried. The mediation 
process is designed to provide a structured, 
confidential, nonadversarial setting that will facilitate 
the cooperative resolution of custody and visitation 
disputes and minimize the stress and anxiety to which 
the parties, especially children, are subjected. 

In mediation, the parties, assisted by a neutral third 
party, attempt to construct a custody and visitation 



agreement that is in their children's best interest. The 
mediator's role is one of facilitator and educator. 
Professionally trained in mediation techniques, the 
mediator is neutral and objective, assisting in the 
discussion process to ensure that the parties consider 
all contested issues in a constructive context and reach 
an informed agreement. 

If the parents are successful in resolving some or all 
of the contested custody and visitation issues through 
mediation, the mediator assists them in drafting a par- 
enting agreement. Parties are then encouraged to have 
the agreement reviewed by their attorney's. Once the 
parenting agreement is signed by the parties, the court 
enters it as an enforceable order. 

Mediated Settlement Conferences 

In October of 1995, following favorable experience 
with a pilot program, the General Assembly authorized 
a statewide program of mediated settlement confer- 
ences for superior court civil cases, pursuant to G.S. 
7A-38.1. During 1996-97, the program began to oper- 
ate statewide. In some districts, the senior resident 
superior court judge refers all eligible cases to medi- 
ated settlement, while in other districts, certain case 
types are exempted. The Supreme Court's "Rules Im- 
plementing Mediated Settlement Conferences in 
Superior Court for Civil Actions" provide for cases to 
be ordered to mediation as soon as practicable after the 
time for the filing of answers has expired. 

Mediators facilitate settlement discussions between 
litigating parties in an effort to help them arrive at mu- 
tually agreeable solutions to their disputes. They do 
not make decisions for the parties, but encourage con- 
structive dialogue, suggest options for settlement, and 
encourage parties to see the dispute from their adver- 
sary's perspective. In an effort to foster confidence in 
the process, the system allows parties to select their 
mediator; otherwise, the court appoints the mediator. 
As of June 1997, over 600 mediators were certified in 
North Carolina to conduct mediated settlement confer- 
ences Parties pay the mediator directly; no taxpayer 
funds arc expended to operate the program. 

Conferences may be held in a courthouse, but arc 
usually conducted in the office of one of the attorneys 
or in the mediator's office Conferences are generally 
scheduled for a date well in advance of trial, but after a 
sufficient discovery period When mediation is suc- 
cessful and the parties reach an agreement, the 
agreement is reduced to wnting at the session and 
signed by the parties and their counsel. Subsequently, 
a voluntary dismissal or consent judgment is filed to 
conclude the litigation During 1996-97, some 51 per- 
cent of mediated cases were settled at the conference. 
Even when cases reach an impasse at mediation, they 



may be resolved later in the litigation process as the 
parties continue to build upon their mediation discus- 
sions. 

The Administrative Office of the Courts 

As part of the unified judicial system, the North 
Carolina Constitution (Article TV, Section 15) provides 
for "an administrative office of the courts to carry out 
the provisions of this Article." The General Assembly 
has established the Aciministrative Office of the Courts 
(AOC) as the business and administrative arm of the 
Judicial Branch. 

The Director of the AOC is appointed by and serves 
at the pleasure of the Chief Justice of the North Caro- 
lina Supreme Court. The Director has the duty to carry 
out the many functions and responsibilities assigned by 
statute to the Director or to the AOC. 

The Assistant Director of the AOC is also appointed 
by the Chief Justice, and serves as the administrative 
assistant to the Chief Justice. The duties of the Assis- 
tant Director include assisting the Chief Justice with 
assignment of superior court judges, assisting the Su- 
preme Court in preparing calendars of superior court 
sessions, and performing other duties as assigned by 
the Chief Justice or the Director of the AOC. 

The basic responsibility of the AOC is to maintain 
an efficient and effective court system by providing 
administrative support statewide for the courts and for 
court-related offices. Among the AOC's specific du- 
ties are to establish fiscal policies for and prepare and 
administer the budget of the Judicial Branch; prescribe 
uniform administrative and business methods, forms, 
and records to be used by the clerks of superior court 
statewide; procure and distribute equipment, books, 
forms, and supplies for the court system; collect, com- 
pile, and publish statistical data and other information 
on the judicial and financial operations of the courts 
and related offices; determine the state of the dockets, 
evaluate the practices and procedures of the courts, and 
make recommendations for improvement of the opera- 
tions of the court system; investigate, make 
recommendations concerning, and provide assistance to 
county authorities regarding the securing of adequate 
physical facilities for the courts; administer the payroll 
and other personnel-related needs of all Judicial 
Branch employees; carry out administrative duties re- 
lating to programs for legal representation of indigents; 
administer various court-based programs; arrange for 
the printing and distribution of the published opinions 
of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals; and per- 
form numerous other duties and responsibilities, 
including production of the Annual Report. 

As of June 30, 1997, the AOC was organized into 
six divisions. The Programs Division consolidates the 



previously separate Community Penalties Division, 
Guardian ad Litem Division, and Juvenile Services 
Division. Programs includes Projects, Community 
Penalties and Teen Court, Guardian ad Litem Admini- 
stration, and Juvenile Services Administration. The 
Administrative Services Division (formerly the Fiscal 
Services Division) includes Fiscal Operations, Budget 
Management and Procurement, and Field Accounting 
and Support. The Court Management and Information 
Services Division consolidates the prior Information 
Services Division and part of the Court Services Divi- 
sion, and includes Internet and Technology Support, 
Applications Development and Support, Operations 
Support, Planning and Decision Support, and Trial 
Court Services and Support. The Legal Services Divi- 
sion consolidates the previously separate Office of 
Legal Counsel, Special Counsel Administrator, Re- 
search and Planning Division, and part of the Court 
Services Division, and now includes Case Management 
Services, Legal Counsel, Special Counsel/Indigent 
Program, and Research Services. The Policy and 
Communication Division includes the Public Informa- 
tion Office and Web Page Publishing. The Human 
Resources Division (formerly the Personnel Division) 
administers the personnel-related needs of the Judicial 
Branch. 

Juvenile Services Administration 

AOC Juvenile Services provides intake, probation, 
and aftercare services to juveniles who are before the 
district courts for delinquency matters (involving vio- 
lations of the criminal code, including motor vehicle 
violations) and for undisciplined matters (such as run- 
ning away from home, being truant, and being beyond 
the parents' disciplinary control). 

Intake is the screening of complaints alleging delin- 
quent or undisciplined behavior by children, to 
determine whether petitions should be filed. During 
1996-97, a total of 45,294 complaints were brought to 
the attention of intake counselors. Of this number, 
31,761 (70.1%) were approved for filing, and 13,533 
(29.9%) were not approved for filing. 

Probation and aftercare refer to supervision of chil- 
dren in their own communities. Probation is authorized 
by judicial order. Aftercare service is provided for 
juveniles after their release from a training school. 
(Protective supervision is also a form of court-ordered 
supervision within the community; this service is com- 
bined with probation and aftercare.) In 1996-97 a total 
of 17,840 juveniles were supervised in the probation 
and aftercare program. 

The Administrator of Juvenile Services is appointed 
by the AOC Director. A chief court counselor is ap- 
pointed for each judicial district by the Administrator, 



with the approval of the Chief District Court Judge and 
the AOC Director. Subject to the Administrator's gen- 
eral supervision, chief court counselors exercise 
administrative supervision over the operation of the 
court counseling services in their respective districts. 

Office of Guardian ad Litem Services 

The Office of Guardian ad Litem Services was es- 
tablished by the General Assembly in 1983 to 
administer the Guardian ad Litem Services Program 
throughout the state. When a petition alleging abuse or 
neglect of a juvenile is filed in district court, the judge 
appoints a trained volunteer guardian ad litem and an 
attorney advocate to work together to represent the 
child's best interests. When a juvenile is alleged to be 
dependent, guardian ad litem services may be extended 
at the discretion of the trial judge. Upon appointment, 
the trained volunteer investigates the child's situation 
and works with the attorney to represent the child's 
needs in court and to make recommendations for case 
disposition and any necessary continuing supervision 
until court intervention is no longer required. In addi- 
tion, the attorney protects the child's legal rights 
throughout the proceedings. 

The Guardian ad Litem Services Administrator is 
responsible for planning and directing the program 
statewide. The AOC Director appoints the Adminis- 
trator as well as an advisory committee that works with 
the Administrator. An assistant administrator manages 
the operation of the program and supervises special 
projects and initiatives. Four regional administrators 
direct the development and implementation of services 
for a group of districts, provide assistance in training 
programs for volunteers, and resolve operational prob- 
lems in the districts. At the local level, district 
administrators recruit, screen, train, and supervise vol- 
unteers within their district court district. They also 
contact community groups, local agencies, the courts, 
and the media in order to develop volunteer participa- 
tion, solicit support from key officials, provide public 
education about the program, and cultivate services for 
children. The district administrators plan an initial 
minimum twenty-hour training course for new volun- 
teers; match children before the court with volunteers; 
implement continued training for experienced guardi- 
ans; and provide supervision, consultation, and support 
to volunteers. They also ensure that attorney advocates 
receive information from the volunteers assigned to the 
cases and that the court receives timely oral or written 
reports each time a child's case is heard. 

During 1996-97, a total of 3,446 volunteers were 
active in the guardian ad litem program and represented 
a total of 14,901 abused and neglected children. These 
volunteers participated in 46,436 court hearings. A 



study showed that volunteers donated an estimated 
669.000 hours to casework and training (this study 
suggested that prior data on volunteer hours were un- 
derestimates). Total expenditures amounted to 
S5.459.458 comprising $953,055 for program attorney 
fees and $4.506403 for program administration. The 
total included reimbursement of volunteers' expenses 
of $230,857. 

Community Penalties Administration 

The Community Penalties Act of 1983 created the 
Community Penalties Program to reduce prison over- 
crowding by providing judges with community 
sentencing options to be used in lieu of and at less cost 
than imprisonment. Effective July 1, 1991, the General 
Assembly transferred the Community Penalties Pro- 
gram from the Department of Crime Control and Public 
Safety to the AOC. The Program contracts with local 
nonprofit agencies for the provision of services in 3 1 of 
the districts served. 

During 1996-97, there were programs in 35 district 
court districts, serving 88 counties with over 93% of 
the state's population. These programs have grown 
substantially, not only in response to prison over- 
crowding, but also in recognition of the need for 
community sentences that are appropriate and effective 
for individual offenders. The extensive use of sub- 
stance abuse treatment programs or other therapy, 
pav-ment of restitution, performance of community 
service work, and maintenance of employment as con- 
ditions of probation have been proved to be effective 
sanctions for certain offenders who otherwise would 
have been incarcerated. 

Under G.S. 7A-771, "persons convicted of misde- 
meanors or felonies who are eligible to receive an 
intermediate punishment based on their class of offense 
and prior record level and who are facing an imminent 
and substantial threat of imprisonment" may be eligible 
for Community Penalties Program services. Referral to 
the program is made from the bench or by the defen- 
dant's attorney. Only defendants who are pleading 
guilty to their current charges and who agree to abide 
by the terms of a community penalties plan are ac- 
cepted into the program. Offenders undergo 
assessments that evaluate attributes such as existence 
of a chemical dependency, level of employment skills, 
and degree of socialization If appropriate, this infor- 
mation is used to develop a plan, which may include 
recommendations regarding restitution to be paid, 
community service work, family support considera- 
tions, substance abuse treatment, other therapy, 
employment placement, and other factors such as the 
level of probation supervision necessary to assist the 
offenders in meeting their obligations. The community 



penalties plan is presented to the judge by the defen- 
dant's attorney. Should the judge accept all or part of 
the community penalties plan, the offender is placed 
under the supervision of a probation officer who over- 
sees the offender's completion of each element of the 
plan. 

In 1996-97, the General Fund appropriation to the 
AOC for Community Penalties Program grants was 
$4,120,537. The programs added more than $250,000 
in local matching funds. In addition to management of 
grant funds, the AOC provides technical assistance and 
training for local program staffs, and monitors program 
administration and performance. 

Judicial Branch Commissions 

The Judicial Standards Commission 

The Judicial Standards Commission was established 
by the General Assembly pursuant to a constitutional 
amendment approved by the voters at the general elec- 
tion in November 1972. It exists as the appropriate 
agency for the investigation of complaints "concerning 
the qualifications or conduct of any justice or judge of 
the General Court of Justice" [G.S. 7A-3 77(a)]. 

The seven-member Commission comprises three 
judges (one each from the Court of Appeals, the Supe- 
rior Court Division, and the District Court Division), 
two attorneys, and two private citizens. The Commis- 
sion receives and investigates complaints of judicial 
misconduct or incapacity, institutes formal proceedings, 
conducts hearings, and recommends appropriate disci- 
plinary action to the Supreme Court (or the Court of 
Appeals, when the complaint involves a Supreme Court 
Justice). Upon recommendation of the Commission, 
the Supreme Court may censure or remove any judge 
for willful misconduct in office, willful and persistent 
failure to perform duties, habitual intemperance, con- 
viction of a crime involving moral turpitude, or other 
conduct that brings the judicial office into disrepute. In 
addition, upon the Commission's recommendation, the 
Supreme Court may remove any judge for mental or 
physical incapacity interfering with the performance of 
duties, when the incapacity is, or is likely to become, 
permanent. In circumstances involving judicial conduct 
that justifies some action but that does not warrant a 
recommendation of censure or removal, the Commis- 
sion may issue a private admonition. 

The Commission prepares an annual report that pro- 
vides further information on the organization, purpose, 
and rules of the Commission, as well as its activities 
during the calendar year. 

The Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission 
The North Carolina Sentencing and Policy Advisory 



10 



Commission was created by the General Assembly in 
1990 to "... make recommendations to the General As- 
sembly for the modification of sentencing laws and 
policies, and for the addition, deletion, or expansion of 
sentencing options as necessary to achieve policy 
goals" (G.S. 164-36). Specifically, the Commission 
was directed to (1) classify criminal offenses into fel- 
ony and misdemeanor categories on the basis of their 
severity, (2) recommend structures for use by a sen- 
tencing court in determining the most appropriate 
sentence to be imposed in a criminal case, (3) develop 
a correctional population simulation model, (4) recom- 
mend a comprehensive community corrections strategy 
and organizational structure for the state, and (5) study 
and make additional policy recommendations. The 
Commission consists of 28 members drawn from all 
three branches of government, from all areas of the 
criminal justice system, and from the public. 

The Commission's prior work led to the passage and 
implementation of the Structured Sentencing Act, 
which was enacted during 1993 and modified during 
the extra ("crime") session of 1994. The Act applies to 
crimes committed on or after October 1, 1994. This 
sentencing system prescribes sentencing options for the 
court based on the severity of the offense and the prior 
record of the offender. 

During the 1997 Session of the General Assembly, 
the Commission proposed several statutory changes to 



alter certain criminal penalties and streamline the ap- 
plication of the Structured Sentencing law, as well as to 
clarify the post-release supervision statutes. In addi- 
tion to the development of sentencing and corrections 
policy, the Commission continued to project future 
prison, jail, and probation populations and assist the 
General Assembly in preparing fiscal notes for pro- 
posed legislation. The Commission also fully 
implemented its "Structured Sentencing Monitoring 
System," which analyzes sentencing practices across 
the state and provides the basis for several statistical 
sentencing reports. During the fiscal year, the Com- 
mission continued to monitor its statewide community 
corrections strategy, provide training on Structured 
Sentencing to various groups, and compile and distrib- 
ute semiannual county jail population summaries. The 
Commission also issued several other reports and in- 
formational documents during the year. 

The Courts Commission 

The 24-member Courts Commission consists of 
court officials, attorneys, legislators, and the public. It 
exists to study the structure, organization, jurisdiction, 
procedures, and personnel within the North Carolina 
court system and to recommend to the General Assem- 
bly any changes that will facilitate the administration 
of justice. 



11 



JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT PERSONNEL 

(Positions Authorized as of June 30, 1997) 



Positions 
Authorized 



SUPREME COURT 



Justices 
33 Staff Personnel (Clerk's & Reporter's Offices, Law Clerks, Library) 

Secretarial Personnel 

COURT OF APPEALS 

12 Judges 

43 Staff Personnel (Clerk's Office, Prehearing, Judicial Standards Commission, Law Clerks) 

13 Secretarial Personnel 

SUPERIOR COURT 

99 Judges 

104 Staff Personnel 

77 Secretarial Personnel 

DISTRICT COURT 

198 Judges 

687 Magistrates 

15 Staff Personnel 

60 Secretarial Personnel 

DISTRICT ATTORNEYS 

39 District Attorneys 

371 Assistant District Attorneys* 

99 Staff Personnel (Investigators, Victim & Witness Assistants, DA Conference) 

219 Secretarial Personnel 

CLERKS OF SUPERIOR COURT 

100 Clerks of Superior Court 

1,989 Staff Personnel 

INDIGENT REPRESENTATION 

1 Appellate Defender 

10 Assistant Appellate Defenders 

3 Secretarial Personnel 

1 1 Public Defenders 

105 Assistant Public Defenders 
24 Staff Personnel 

43 Secretarial Personnel 

4 Special Counsel at mental health hospitals 

3 Assistants to Special Counsel 

4 Secretarial Personnel 

2 Guardian ad Litem, Program Administrator and Assistant Administrator 
4 1 Regional Administrators (4) and District Administrators (37) 

56 Staff Personnel 

1 6 Secretarial Personnel 

JUVENILE SERVICES PROGRAM 

2 Juvenile Services Administrator and Assistant Administrator 

4 Juvenile Services Area Administrators 

167 Court Counselors 

23 Staff Personnel 

65 Secretarial Personnel 

ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE COURTS 

1 Administrative Officer of the Courts 

2 Assistant Director and Deputy Director 
236 Staff Personnel 

* r /1 the 37 1 asiulant district attorney positions, 367 were authorized under (i.S. 7A-60(al) and 4 were time-limited grant-funded positions. 

12 



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15 



PART II 



COURT RESOURCES 



JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATIONS AND EXPENDITURES 

Under the State Constitution, the operating expenses of the Judicial Department, "other than compensation to 
process servers and other locally paid non-judicial officers," are required to be paid from State funds. It is 
customary legislative practice for the General Assembly to include appropriations for the operating expenses of all 
three branches of State government in a single budget bill, for a two-year period ending on June 30 of the odd- 
numbered years. The budget for the second year of the biennium is generally modified during the even-year 
legislative sessions. 

Building facilities for the appellate courts are provided by State funds, but, by statute, the county governments 
are required to use county funds to provide adequate facilities for the trial courts within each of the 100 counties. 

The table immediately below shows appropriations from the State's General Fund for operating expenses of 
the Judicial Department as well as all State agencies combined over the past ten fiscal years. The second table 
shows expenditures for operating expenses of the Judicial Department during the same period. 



APPROPRIATIONS FROM GENERAL FUND FOR OPERATING EXPENSES 





Judicial 


Department 


All State 


: Agencies 


Judicial 


Fiscal 




% Increase over 




% Increase over 


Department 


Year 


Appropriation 


previous year 


Appropriation 


previous year 


% Share 


1987-88 


$161,128,433 


10.06% 


$5,715,172,032 


10.90% 


2.82% 


1988-89 


$175,864,518 


9.15% 


$6,226,556,573 


8.95% 


2.82%o 


1989-90 


$200,807,719 


14.18% 


$6,800,504,598 


9.22% 


2.95% 


1990-91 


$205,610,446 


2.39% 


$7,166,795,044 


5.39% 


2.87% 


1991-92 


$215,113,968 


4.62% 


$7,268,823,057 


1.42% 


2.96% 


1992-93 


$227,078,694 


5.56% 


$7,786,752,535 


7.13% 


2.92% 


1993-94* 


$265,509,570 


16.92% 


$8,770,691,580 


12.64% 


3.03% 


1994-95 


$281,795,444 


6.13% 


$9,543,224,292 


8.81% 


2.95%) 


1995-96 


$284,970,016 


1.13% 


$9,649,888,683 


1.12% 


2.95% 


1996-97 
AVERAG1 


$301,483,920 

E ANNUAL 


5.79% 


$10,304,313,382 


6.78% 


2.93% 


INCREASE, 1988-1997 


7.59% 




7.24% 





Fiscal Year 

1987-88 

1988-89 

1989-90* 

1990-91 

1991-92 

1992-93 

1993-94* 

1994-95 

1995-96 

1996-97 



EXPENDITURES 

Expenditures 

$165,637,346 
$176,623,214 
$188,202,292 
$208,070,175 
$221,095,228 
$232,931,371 
$267,994,039 
$285,655,811 
$291,999,600 
$309,534,868 



% Increase over 
previous year 

11.67% 

6.63% 

6.56% 
10.56% 

6.26% 

5.35%o 
15.05% 

6.59% 

2.22%o 

6.01% 



•Expenditure data for 1989-90 include only 1 1 months of payroll (salary & benefits) for state employees because the June 1990 
payroll was disbursed in July 1990, which is fiscal year 1990-91. In 1993-94, the legislature restored the June pay date; thus, 
appropriation and expenditure figures for 1993-94 include 13 months of payroll for state employees. As a result, expenditure 
data for 1989-90 and appropriation and expenditure data for 1993-94 are not comparable to such data for other years. 



19 



JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT EXPENDITURES 
Julyl, 1996 -June 30, 1997 



Budget Classifications 

Supreme Court 

Court of Appeals 

Superior Courts 

District Courts 

Clerks of Superior Court 

Juvenile Services Program 

Representation for Indigents 

Assigned Private Counsel (includes $115,313 

for guardians ad litem for juveniles) 
Guardian ad Litem Services Program 
Public Defenders 

Special Counsel at Mental Health Hospitals 
Support Services (expert witness fees, 

professional examinations, transcripts, 

investigators) 
Set-Off Debt Collection 
Appellate Defender Services 

District Attorney Offices 
Office — District Attorney 
District Attorneys' Conference 
Criminal Docket Management (formerly 
Criminal Case Management Pilot) 

Administrative Office of the Courts 
General Administration 
Information Services 
Warehouse & Printing 

Judicial Standards Commission 

Dispute Resolution Programs 

Custody and Visitation Mediation Program 
Mediated Settlement Conferences 
Dispute Settlement Centers 
Court-Ordered Arbitration Program 

Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission 

Community Penalties Program 

Teen Court 

North Carolina Drug Treatment Court 

Mecklenburg Drug Court 

State Bar — Civil Justice Act 

Alternatives to Detention 

Equipment Fund 

Supply Carryover 

Grant- Supported Projects 

GRAND TOTAL 



Subtotals 


Totals 

$ 3,556,586 
4,341,490 
25,347,252 
50,300,902 
80,635,624 
19,791,189 


Percent 

of Grand 

Total 

1.15% 
1.40% 
8.19% 
16.25% 
26.05% 
6.39% 


$32,451,878 


51,756,903 


16.72% 


5,459,625 

9,895,547 

455,201 






2,431,457 

86,152 

977,043 






36,637,655 
138,483 


36,820,194 


11.90% 


44,056 






8,050,139 

12,762,162 

873,222 


21,685,523 


7.01% 




111,118 


0.04% 


774,173 

66,570 

931,660 

609,263 


2,381,666 


0.77% 




336,157 


0.11% 




4,900,487 


1.58% 




121,577 


0.04% 




593,604 


0.19% 




433,154 


0.14% 




1,250,000 


0.40% 




518,630 


0.17% 




2,817,891 


0.91% 




372,004 


0.12% 




1,462,917 


0.47% 




$309,534,868 


100% 



20 



JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT RECEIPTS 

The State Constitution requires that all fines, penalties, and forfeitures collected by the courts in criminal cases be 
distributed to the respective counties in which the cases are tried, to be used for the support of the public schools. 

G.S. 7A-304 et seq. establish a uniform schedule of civil and criminal court costs, comprising a variety of fees, and 
prescribe the distribution of these fees. Except for certain fees that are devoted to specific uses, all superior and district 
court costs collected by the Judicial Department are paid into the State's General Fund, as are appellate court fees and 
proceeds from the sales of appellate division reports. When costs are assessed, a facilities fee, which must be used to 
provide and maintain courtrooms and related judicial facilities, is included and is paid over to the respective county or 
municipality whose facilities were used. An officer fee (for arrest or service of process) is included, where applicable, 
in the cost of each case filed in the trial courts, and is paid over to either the municipality whose officer performed these 
services or to the county in which the case was filed. A jail fee, assessed where applicable, is distributed to the county 
or municipality whose facilities were used. Most jail facilities in the State are provided by the counties. The county 
also receives fees paid by convicted defendants when they are released to the supervision of an agency providing 
pretrial release services in the county. Half of the proceeds from the ten-day driver's license revocation fee, which 
driving-while-impaired offenders must pay to recover their driver's licenses, is distributed to the counties and the 
remaining half is credited to the General Fund to be used for a statewide chemical alcohol testing program. Criminal 
court costs include a fee for the Law Enforcement Officers' Benefit and Retirement Fund; these fees are remitted to the 
State Treasurer for deposit into this Fund. 

When private counsel or a public defender is assigned to represent an indigent defendant in a criminal case, the trial 
judge sets the money value for the services rendered. If the defendant is convicted, a judgment lien may be entered 
against him/her for such amount. The department retains collections on these judgments to defray the costs of legal 
representation of indigents. 

Since fiscal year 1987-88, the Federal Government has been funding a portion of child support enforcement costs. 

The first table below shows Judicial Department receipts for the last 10 years, and the second table gives the sources 
and distribution of such receipts for the 1996-97 fiscal year. Note that municipalities as well as counties are shown as 
receiving judicial facilities fees, officer fees, and jail fees, as discussed above, and that proceeds of the ten-day license 
revocation fee are split between the State Treasurer and the counties. 

JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT RECEIPTS: 1987-88 - 1996-97 



Fiscal Year Receipts 


Fiscal Year 


Receipts 


1987-88 $98,217,285 




1992-93 


$144,804,138 


1988-89 $106,278,440 




1993-94 


$146,131,144 


1989-90 $119,381,775 




1994-95 


$171,426,049 


1990-91 $124,844,680 




1995-96 


$177,100,905 


1991-92 $138,086,949 




1996-97 


$199,164,234 


JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT RECEIPTS: July 1, 1996 - June 30, 1997 


Remitted to State Treasurer 








Supreme Court Fees 


7,107 




0.004% 


Court of Appeals Fees 


30,748 




0.015% 


Sales of Appellate Division Reports 


163,317 




0.082% 


Arbitration Appeal Filing Fees 


60,607 




0.030% 


LEOB Fees 


9,021,065 




4.529% 


Twenty-Day Failure Fees 


4,606,929 




2.313% 


Ten-Day License Revocation Fees 


1,178,461 




0.592% 


General Court of Justice Fees 


76,510,859 




38,416% 


Federal — Child Support Enforcement 


17,683,805 




8.879% 


Total to State Treasurer 


109,262,898 




54.861% 


Distributed to Counties 








Fines and Forfeitures 


55,631,503 




27.932% 


Judicial Facilities Fees 


11,233,624 




5.640% 


Officer Fees 


6,088,599 




3.057% 


Jail Fees 


1,675,595 




0.841% 


Ten-Day License Revocation Fees 


1,178,461 




0.592% 


Total to Counties 


75,807,782 




38.063% 


Distributed to Municipalities 








Judicial Facilities Fees 


456,598 




0.229% 


Officer Fees 


1,915,441 




0.962% 


Jail Fees 


2,250 




0.001% 


Total to Municipalities 


2,374,289 




1.192% 


Operating Receipts 








Collection on Indigent Representation Judgments 


5,268,145 




2.645% 


1995-96 Obligation Carryover 


3,930,591 




1.974% 


Department of Crime Control & Public Safety Grants 


832,447 




0.418% 


Other Grants 


1,448,959 




0.728% 


Miscellaneous Operating Receipts 


239,123 




0.120% 


Total Operating Receipts 


11,719,265 




5.884% 


GRAND TOTAL 


$199,164,234 




100% 



21 



Amounts of Fees, Fines, and Forfeitures Collected by the Courts and 
Distributed to Counties and Municipalities * 

July 1, 1996 - June 30, 1997 









Distributed to Counties 




Distributed to Municipalities 
Facility Officer Jail 






Facility 


Officer 


Jail 


Fines and 




County 


Fees 


Fees 


Fees 


Forfeitures 


Fees 


Fees 


Fees 


TOTAL 


Alamance 


$ 172,884 


$ 76,247 


$ 72,095 


$ 824,863 


$ 


$ 51,143 


$ 


$ 1,197,232 


Alexander 


36 


890 


48,442 


19,340 


232,160 





1,217 





338,049 


Alleghany 


13 


713 


9,449 


7,111 


100,867 





1,015 





132,155 


Anson 


41 


639 


22,704 


2,249 


328,601 





1,303 





396,496 


Ashe 


25 


041 


17,870 


7,016 


147,307 





1,119 





198,353 


Avery 


19 


676 


13,654 


853 


91,316 





675 





126,174 


Beaufort 


75 


130 


53,792 


35,446 


431,913 





18,339 





614,620 


Bertie 


33 


523 


26,048 


4,307 


179,501 





766 





244,145 


Bladen 


73 


492 


56,983 


7,789 


332,021 


150 


3,353 





473,788 


Brunswick 


95 


194 


69,256 


17,985 


389,073 


491 


4,509 





576,508 


Buncombe 


249 


995 


141,536 


5,698 


1,412,279 





40,724 





1,850,232 


Burke 


127 


323 


47,957 


28,678 


741,711 





22,645 





968,314 


Cabarrus 


217 


278 


97,906 


58,546 


1,240,808 


60 


89,550 





1,704,148 


Caldwell 


94 


203 


48,783 


36,471 


486,273 





12,934 





678,664 


Camden 


13 


938 


11,174 


410 


58,853 











84,375 


Carteret 


120 


865 


67,629 


42,795 


474,888 


186 


13,902 


5 


720,270 


Caswell 


29 


789 


26,038 


3,291 


175,980 





990 





236,088 


Catawba 


132 


730 


61,592 


20,041 


1,079,390 


84,872 


51,663 





1,430,288 


Chatham 


55 


916 


47,620 


10,598 


399,957 


17,031 


2,894 


30 


534,046 


Cherokee 


24 


783 


15,485 


6,948 


169,806 





1,409 





218,431 


Chowan 


30 


635 


23,616 


471 


167,771 





3,171 





225,664 


Clay 


6 


356 


4,735 


1,539 


33,825 











46,455 


Cleveland 


125 


885 


75,056 


44,589 


847,873 





9,042 


10 


1,102,455 


Columbus 


74 


705 


60,868 


10,070 


289,093 


2,061 


6,842 





443,639 


Craven 


147 


044 


52,196 


31,760 


519,599 


4,369 


46,768 





801,736 


Cumberland 


415 


794 


149,587 


62,054 


1,245,435 


218 


74,213 


35 


1,947,336 


Currituck 


29 


931 


33,186 


4,065 


196,711 











263,893 


Dare 


95 


833 


35,271 


9,333 


539,620 


1,295 


19,060 





700,412 


Davidson 


157 


003 


125,032 


29,509 


1,051,843 


20,534 


12,077 





1,395,998 


Davie 


48 


502 


35,718 


6,892 


233,827 





3,301 





328,240 


Duplin 


85 


278 


53,500 


22,294 


448,212 





1,782 





611,066 


Durham 


315 


647 


128,329 


10,275 


1,258,082 


138 


78,833 


10 


1,791,314 


Edgecombe 


67 


085 


67,363 


20,377 


417,831 


50,831 


31,866 


483 


655,836 


Forsyth 


417 


817 


130,485 


36,362 


1,633,609 


7,109 


66,787 


104 


2,292,273 


Franklin 


57 


330 


34,230 


10,102 


330,978 





800 





433,440 


Gaston 


254 


832 


156,950 


6,997 


837,933 


866 


48,619 


10 


1,306,207 


Gates 


18 


044 


14,373 


1,703 


75,639 


30 








109,789 


Graham 


7 


249 


6,018 


2,569 


66,007 











81,843 


Granville 


74 


306 


40,327 


14,145 


455,485 


30 


10,276 





594,569 


Greene 


26 


545 


19,784 


5,650 


140,743 











192,722 


Guilford 


634 


610 


201,222 


63,236 


2,640,152 


195 


100,109 


5 


3,639,529 


Halifax 


114 


887 


87,396 


11,960 


680,650 


2,946 


14,811 





912,650 


Harnett 


92 


581 


64,308 


10,210 


515,397 


18,854 


14,902 


5 


716,257 


Haywrxxl 


85 


542 


62,191 


422 


393,167 


1,492 


5,466 


5 


548,285 


Henderson 


110 


025 


59,051 


13,238 


778,884 


20 


747 





961,965 


Hertford 


42 


545 


27,027 


20,231 


202,626 





3,956 





296,385 


Hoke 


44 


418 


39,007 


15,152 


367,053 





2,374 





468,004 


Hyde 


11 


193 


8,542 


1,966 


61,619 











83,320 


Iredell 


148 


065 


93,701 


33,333 


1,038,942 


25,383 


51,543 


105 


1,391,072 


Jackson 


37 


798 


27,900 


11,568 


235,141 


10 








312,417 


Johnston 


127 


033 


97,829 


38,442 


757,886 


21,535 


8,405 


140 


1,051,270 


Jon 1 ;'. 


20 


539 


12,431 





51,859 





3,100 





87,929 


Ijtx. 


83 


697 


42,486 


42,950 


409,429 





24,985 





603,547 


Ivtnoir 


107 


462 


57,066 


25,830 


527,515 


6 


12,773 





730,652 


Lin oln 


63 


472 


40,182 


15,201 


302,832 


24 


1,302 





423,013 



22 



Amounts of Fees, Fines, and Forfeitures Collected by the Courts and 
Distributed to Counties and Municipalities * 

July 1, 1996 - June 30, 1997 







Distributed to Counties 




Distributed to Municipalities 
Facility Officer Jail 






Facility 


Officer 


Jail 


Fines and 




County 


Fees 


Fees 


Fees 


Forfeitures 


Fees 


Fees 


Fees 


TOTAL 


Macon 


$ 34,278 


$ 19,032 


$ 5,595 


$ 147,645 


$ 


$ 1,285 


$ 


$ 207,835 


Madison 


23,344 


16,731 


3,648 


78,950 





380 





123,053 


Martin 


49,441 


33,680 


8,005 


253,939 





965 





346,030 


McDowell 


70,187 


46,510 


525 


417,371 





4,676 





539,269 


Mecklenburg 


993,353 


434,852 


6,812 


2,251,827 


6,781 


193,998 


15 


3,887,638 


Mitchell 


11,545 


7,171 


2,828 


62,407 





645 


19 


84,615 


Montgomery 


36,365 


31,292 


7,001 


246,057 


140 


1,205 





322,060 


Moore 


100,163 


58,455 


653 


620,966 


1,794 


18,895 





800,926 


Nash 


111,716 


107,542 


32,846 


620,509 


76,101 


41,209 


768 


990,691 


New Hanover 


253,385 


96,798 


40,585 


1,561,792 


1,179 


45,205 





1,998,944 


Northampton 


35,763 


29,624 


5,426 


226,146 





689 





297,648 


Onslow 


203,804 


144,788 


48,122 


839,712 


92 


26,008 





1,262,526 


Orange 


99,435 


60,645 


3,278 


675,914 


42,790 


40,636 





922,698 


Pamlico 


12,647 


9,535 


1,535 


48,286 











72,003 


Pasquotank 


67,794 


48,316 


13,379 


384,937 





9,836 





524,262 


Pender 


77,901 


58,036 


10,659 


293,231 





1,045 





440,872 


Perquimans 


24,688 


19,999 


2,774 


122,918 





1,955 





172,334 


Person 


64,700 


49,674 


6,338 


539,145 


4 


7,692 


10 


667,563 


Pitt 


188,984 


74,166 


57,219 


701,338 


13,716 


65,212 


258 


1,100,893 


Polk 


25,545 


16,253 


215 


156,441 





645 





199,099 


Randolph 


161,761 


89,312 


51,751 


832,812 


2,154 


20,408 





1,158,198 


Richmond 


72,511 


33,186 


19,468 


487,116 





1,538 


130 


613,949 


Robeson 


182,800 


148,818 


29,010 


1,325,544 


43,124 


46,121 


85 


1,775,502 


Rockingham 


150,918 


70,199 


13,048 


921,800 


588 


27,860 





1,184,413 


Rowan 


162,710 


106,720 


41,348 


1,013,130 





41,778 





1,365,686 


Rutherford 


98,704 


49,502 


38,201 


732,329 


20 


16,395 





935,151 


Sampson 


121,428 


79,415 


15,566 


571,738 





8,902 





797,049 


Scotland 


72,884 


51,076 


15,683 


531,280 





12,956 





683,879 


Stanly 


76,306 


25,506 


14,196 


573,484 


310 


21,359 





711,161 


Stokes 


68,481 


39,927 


132 


418,693 





8,447 





535,680 


Surry 


97,302 


83,817 


7,816 


601,318 


338 


12,660 





803,251 


Swain 


17,377 


10,944 


4,269 


120,271 





1,450 





154,311 


Transylvania 


37,330 


31,864 


13,868 


252,293 


86 


3,897 





339,338 


Tyrrell 


18,721 


15,504 


1,676 


54,145 





20 





90,066 


Union 


134,074 


76,219 


14,586 


1,038,992 


53 


33,343 





1,297,267 


Vance 


89,324 


44,195 


13,292 


655,785 





13,307 





815,903 


Wake 


754,418 


262,352 


579 


2,905,423 


3,242 


118,729 





4,044,743 


Warren 


34,419 


25,902 


3,160 


174,575 





1,130 





239,186 


Washington 


29,353 


20,961 


8,375 


154,012 


10 


2,491 


18 


215,220 


Watauga 


64,708 


33,350 


6,846 


267,123 





16,382 





388,409 


Wayne 


173,160 


108,486 


36,614 


833,840 


3,247 


26,468 





1,181,815 


Wilkes 


98,308 


62,980 


16,777 


713,040 


10 


4,741 





895,856 


Wilson 


132,325 


83,249 


22,454 


787,859 


82 


30,778 





1,056,747 


Yadkin 


49,982 


34,780 


7,275 


296,257 





3,205 





391,499 


Yancey 


15,599 


10,105 





68,279 





835 





94,818 


State Totals** 


$11,233,624 


$6,088,599 


$1,675,595 


$55,631,503 


$456,598 


$1,915,441 


$2,250 


$77,003,610 



♦Facility and jail fees are distributed to the respective counties and municipalities that furnished the facilities. If the officer who 
made the arrest or served the process was employed by a municipality, the officer fee is distributed to the municipality; otherwise 
all officer fees are distributed to the respective counties. By provision of the State Constitution, fines and forfeitures collected by 
the courts within a county are distributed to that county for support of the public schools. 

**State totals may not equal the sum of county data due to rounding. 



23 



COST AND CASE DATA ON REPRESENTATION OF INDIGENTS 
July 1, 1996 - June 30, 1997 



Assigned Private Counsel 

Capital offense cases 
Adult cases (other than capital) 
Juvenile cases 

Guardian ad Litem for juveniles 
Totals 

Guardian ad Litem Services Program 

Public Defender Offices 

District 3A 

District 3B (Carteret County) 
District 12 
District 14 
District 15B 
District 16A 
District 16B 
District 18 
District 26 
District 27A 
District 28 
Totals 

Appellate Defender Office 

Special Counsel at State Mental Health Hospitals 

Support Services 

Transcripts, records, and briefs 
Professional examinations 
Expert witness fees 
Investigator fees 
Total 

Set-Off Debt Collection 

GRAND TOTAL 



Number 


Total 


Average 


of Cases* 


Cost 


Per Case 


1,083 


$7,453,782 


$6,883 


84,801 


22,322,081 


263 


12,794 


2,560,702 


200 


360 


115,313 


320 


99,038 


32,451,878 


328 



5,459,625 



2,922 


574,634 


197 


645 


242,638 


376 


2,531 


1,060,859 


419 


5,413 


985,683 


182 


2,075 


515,945 


249 


1,758 


426,711 


243 


1,620 


676,602 


418 


4,756 


1,529,839 


322 


11,918 


2,278,885 


191 


5,731 


853,461 


149 


3,458 


750,290 


217 


42,827 


9,895,547 
977,043 
455,201 

825,765 

5,076 

1,184,841 

415,775 
2,431,457 

86,152 

$51,756,903 


231 



The number of "cases" shown for private assigned counsel is the number of payments (checks) made by the Administrative 
Office of the Courts for appointed attorneys. For public defender offices, the number of "cases" is the number of indigents 
whose cases were disposed of by public defenders during the 1996-97 year. 



24 



STATE MENTAL HEALTH HOSPITAL COMMITMENT HEARINGS 

July 1, 1996 - June 30, 1997 

During 1996-97, the average cost per commitment hearing for representation by special counsel at the state's 
four mental health hospitals was $31.08 (total cost of $455,201 for 14,648 hearings). 

The criteria and procedures for commitment to or discharge from a mental health hospital differ depending on 
whether the person is a minor or an adult, the reason for the commitment, and who is requesting the commitment. 
The applicable statutes should be consulted for further details. 









Dorothea 


John 






Broughton 


Cherry 


Dix 


Umstead 


Totals 


Voluntary minors: Mentally ill or 












substance abusers (G.S.122C,Art.5,Pt.3) 












Total Hearings 


212 


152 


195 


468 


1,027 


Commitment to hospital 


162 


80 


166 


449 


857 


Dismissal/discharge 


50 


72 


29 


19 


170 


Of total, number that were: 












Initial hearings 


129 


146 


69 


156 


500 


Contested hearings 


12 





31 


117 


160 


Voluntary incompetent adults: 












Mentally ill or substance abusers 












(G.S.122C,Art.5,Pt.4) 


> 










Total Hearings 


241 


37 


118 


67 


463 


Commitment to hospital 


230 


35 


110 


58 


433 


Dismissal/discharge 


11 


2 


8 


9 


30 


Of total, number that were: 












Initial hearings 


50 


2 


32 


8 


92 


Contested hearings 


7 





31 


11 


49 



Involuntary minors and adults: 

Mentally ill or mentally retarded with 
behavior disorder (G.S.122C,Art.5,Pt.7) 
Total Hearings 

Commitment to hospital 

Commitment to outpatient clinic 

Split commitment 

Dismissal/discharge 
Of total, number that were: 

Initial hearings 

Contested hearings 

Involuntary minors and adults: 

Substance abusers (G.S.122C,Art.5,Pt.8) 
Total Hearings 

Commitment to area authority 
Dismissal/discharge 

Of total, number that were: 
Initial hearings 
Contested hearings 

Total Hearings 

Of total, number that were: 
Initial hearings 
Contested hearings 



2,921 

634 
735 
874 
678 


2,536 

1,129 
397 
339 
671 


2,781 
958 
189 

406 
1,228 


3,221 

1,704 
308 
633 
576 


11,459 

4,425 
1,629 

2,252 
3,153 


2,579 
245 


1,815 
227 


2,094 
328 


2,057 
716 


8,545 
1,516 


332 

332 



230 

230 



195 

194 

1 


942 

878 
64 


1,699 

1,634 
65 


332 
2 


225 
8 


191 
6 


883 
68 


1,631 
84 


3,706 


2,955 


3,289 


4,698 


14,648 


3,090 
266 


2,188 

235 


2,386 
396 


3,104 
912 


10,768 
1,809 



25 



District 1 
Camden 
Chowan 
Currituck 
Dare 
Gates 

Pasquotank 
Perquimans 
District Totals 

District 2 

Beaufort 

Hyde 

Martin 

T>-rreU 

Washington 

District Totals 

District 3A 
Pitt 
District Totals 

District 3B 
Carteret 
Craven 
Pamlico 
District Totals 

District 4A 
Duplin 
Jones 
Sampson 

District Totals 

District 4B 
Onslow 
District Totals 

District 5 
New Hanover 
Pender 

District Totals 

District 6 A 
Halifax 
District Totals 

District 6B 
Bertie 
Hertford 
Northampton 

District Totals 



ASSIGNED PRIVATE COUNSEL* 

Cases and Expenditures 

July 1, 1996 - June 30, 1997 

Number of Cases 

49 
280 
191 
446 

70 
709 
161 



1,906 



614 
51 

347 
60 

157 

1,229 



969 
969 



239 

1,186 

145 

1,570 



618 

104 

672 

1,394 



2,292 
2,292 



3,365 
476 

3,841 



1,002 
1,002 



226 

537 
275 



Expenditures 

11,459 
88,552 
65,909 

173,160 
42,715 

184,187 
36,498 

602,480 



142,996 
13,589 

206,004 
17,291 
32,215 

412,095 



344,366 
344,366 



89,633 

412,470 

40,039 

542,142 



285,766 

18,615 

251,169 

555,550 



548,927 
548,927 



1,011,334 
201,103 

1,212,437 



353,495 
353,495 



237,168 
152,019 
228,894 



1,038 618,081 

'Cases and expenditures shown here include adult capital and non-capital oflcnse cases, juvenile cases, and guardians ad litem for juveniles. 



26 



Assigned Private Counsel, July 1, 1996 - June 30, 1997* 

(continued) 



District 7 A 
Nash 
District Totals 

District 7B-C 

Edgecombe 

Wilson 

District Totals 

District 8A 

Greene 

Lenoir 

District Totals 

District 8B 
Wayne 
District Totals 

District 9 

Franklin 

Granville 

Vance 

Warren 

District Totals 

District 9A 

Caswell 
Person 

District Totals 

District 10 
Wake 
District Totals 

District 1 1A 

Harnett 

Lee 

District Totals 

District 11B 
Johnston 
District Totals 

District 12 
Cumberland 
District Totals 

District 13 
Bladen 
Brunswick 
Columbus 
District Totals 



nber of Cases 


1,285 


1,285 


1,054 
988 



2,042 



219 
1,049 
1,268 



1,436 
1,436 



597 
593 
912 
284 

2,386 



360 
857 

1,217 



9,830 
9,830 



1,502 
849 

2,351 



1,462 
1,462 



1,824 
1,824 



628 
1,051 

873 
2,552 



Expenditures 

416,538 
416,538 

374,054 
374,824 

748,878 



97,109 
317,262 



414,371 



407,035 



407,035 



179,555 
173,993 
261,503 
133,797 



748,848 



90,334 
180,801 



271,135 



2,544,945 
2,544,945 



381,243 
235,211 

616,454 



650,867 
650,867 



928,433 
928,433 



175,992 
305,067 
335,399 
816,458 



•Cases and expenditures shown here include adult capital and non-capital offense cases, juvenile cases, and guardians ad litem for juveniles. 



27 



Assigned Private Counsel, July 1, 1996 - June 30, 1997* 

(continued) 

Number of Cases 



District 14 
Durham 
District Totals 

District 15A 
Alamance 
District Totals 

District 15B 
Chatham 
Orange 
District Totals 

District 16A 

Hoke 

Scotland 

District Totals 

District 16B 
Robeson 
District Totals 

District 1 7 A 
Rockingham 
District Totals 

District 17B 

Stokes 

Surry 

District Totals 

District 18 
Guilford 
District Totals 

District 19A 
Cabarrus 
District Totals 

District 19B 
Montgomery 
Moore 
Randolph 
District Totals 

District 19C 
Rowan 
District Totals 



1,174 



1,174 

2,341 
2,341 



239 
900 



1,139 



122 

335 



457 



1,391 



1,391 



1,543 
1,543 



420 
1,067 

1,487 



2,340 
2,340 



1,831 
1,831 



419 
1,170 
1,533 

3,122 



1,398 
1,398 



Expenditures 



710,486 



710,486 



629,989 



629,989 



105,541 
155,333 



260,874 



69,574 
101,471 



171,045 



945,281 



945,281 



429,100 



429,100 



260,959 
255,060 



516,019 



996,301 



996,301 



621,820 



621,820 



121,561 
258,105 
604,895 



984,561 



521,814 



521,814 



*' Zaaat and expenditures jhown here include adult capital and non-capital oflensc cases, juvenile cases, and guardians ad litem for juveniles. 



2X 



Assigned Private Counsel, July 1, 1996 - June 30, 1997* 



District 20A 
Anson 
Richmond 
District Totals 

District 20B 

Stanly 

Union 

District Totals 

District 21 
Forsyth 
District Totals 

District 22 
Alexander 
Davidson 
Davie 
Iredell 
District Totals 

District 23 

Alleghany 

Ashe 

Wilkes 

Yadkin 

District Totals 

District 24 

Avery 

Madison 

Mitchell 

Watauga 

Yancey 

District Totals 

District 25A 

Burke 

Caldwell 

District Totals 

District 25B 
Catawba 
District Totals 

District 26 
Mecklenburg 
District Totals 



(continued) 
Number of Cases 

704 
1,691 



2,395 



748 
1,765 

2,513 



4,720 
4,720 



695 
3,065 

472 
1,884 

6,116 



116 
255 
753 
334 
1,458 



170 
154 
135 
443 
170 

1,072 



1,031 
899 

1,930 



1,609 
1,609 



6,499 
6,499 



Expenditures 

274,198 
578,921 
853,119 



205,708 
617,100 
822,808 



1,584,542 
1,584,542 



185,242 
913,512 
130,870 
516,176 

1,745,800 



25,719 
67,325 

231,281 
78,646 

402,971 



94,395 
75,291 
48,377 
164,733 
90,305 

473,101 



287,269 
279,406 
566,675 



460,437 
460,437 



2,107,015 
2,107,015 



*Cases and expenditures shown here include adult capital and non-capital offense cases, juvenile cases, and guardians ad litem for juveniles 



29 



District 27 A 
Gaston 
District Totals 

District 2 7B 

Cleveland 

Lincoln 

District Totals 

District 28 
Buncombe 
District Totals 

District 29 
Henderson 
McDowell 
Polk 

Rutherford 
Transylvania 
District Totals 

District 30A 

Cherokee 

Clay 

Graham 

Macon 

Swain 

District Totals 

District 3 OB 

Haywood 

Jackson 

District Totals 



Assigned Private Counsel, July 1, 1996 - June 30, 1997* 

(continued) 

Number of Cases 

534 



534 



1,058 
388 



1,446 

1,064 
1,064 



1,586 
503 
203 

1,203 

377 

3,872 



369 
90 
238 
434 
298 

1,429 



794 
470 

1,264 



Expenditures 

247,269 
247,269 



210,897 
122,433 



333,330 



299,854 



299,854 



451,286 
126,699 
60,245 
388,958 
176,195 



1,203,383 



100,596 
18,228 
107,841 
107,477 
103,571 

437,713 



228,303 
144,733 

373,036 



STATE TOTALS 



99,038 



$32,451,878 



and expenditures shown here include adult capital and non-capital offense cases, juvenile cases, and guardians ad litem for juveniles. 



30 



PART III 



CASELOAD DATA 



• Appellate Courts Data 

• Supreme Court 

• Court of Appeals 

• Trial Courts Data 

• Superior Court 

• District Court 

• Special Programs Data 

• Arbitration 

• Custody Mediation 

• Community Penalties 



PART III, Section 1 



Appellate Courts Data 

• Supreme Court 

• Court of Appeals 



The Supreme Court 



The following Supreme Court tables give filing 
(docketing) and disposition data on petitions, appeals, 
and other proceedings. These tables are based on data 
reported by the Clerk's office, which is responsible for 
entering and compiling the Court's data. 

Matters are heard in the Supreme Court either 
through appeal by right or by the Court granting dis- 
cretionary review. Cases on appeal by right include 
appeals from the Court of Appeals in cases involving 
constitutional questions or dissent in the Court of Ap- 
peals, appeals from Superior Court in first degree mur- 
der cases in which the defendant has been sentenced to 
death, and appeals from any final order or decision of 
the Utilities Commission in general rate cases. 

In its discretion, the Court may review Court of Ap- 
peals decisions in cases of significant public interest or 
cases involving legal principles of major significance. 
The Court, in its discretion, may also hear appeals di- 
rectly from the trial courts in cases of significant public 
mterest, cases involving legal principles of major sig- 
nificance, where delay would cause substantial harm, 
or when the Court of Appeals docket is unusually full. 



A petitioner can seek such discretionary review through 
a petition for discretionary review or a petition for writ 
of certiorari, or the Supreme Court can certify the case 
for review on its own initiative. Other requests for 
review by the court include petitions for writ of super- 
sedeas, mandamus, or prohibition, and petitions for 
habeas corpus, as well as various motions, including 
motions for appropriate relief. 

The first table in the Supreme Court subsection gives 
ten-year trend data for appeals docketed and disposed 
and petitions docketed and allowed. The table follow- 
ing presents the Court's caseload inventory for 1996- 
97, broken down by the types of cases the Court hears. 
The following two tables summarize case activity in 
those cases reaching decision stage, and the disposition 
of petitions for review. The next table shows the vari- 
ous methods of dispositions of appeals — signed opin- 
ion, per curiam opinion (unsigned opinion), and 
dismissal or withdrawal — as well as the types of dis- 
position (e.g., affirmed, reversed, and so on). The final 
table gives Supreme Court processing times for appeals 
disposed by signed or per curiam opinion. 



34 



NORTH CAROLINA SUPREME COURT 



APPEALS DOCKETED AND DISPOSED DURING THE YEARS 1987-88 - 1996-97 





Appeals Docketed 


Appeals Disposed 


1987-88 


145 


216 


1988-89 


177 


154 


1989-90 


175 


141 


1990-91 


189 


173 


1991-92 


181 


181 


1992-93 


189 


150 


1993-94 


240 


177 


1994-95 


180 


194 


1995-96 


172 


231 


1996-97 


169 


188 



PETITIONS DOCKETED AND ALLOWED DURING THE YEARS 1987-88 - 1996-97 





Petitions Docketed 


Petitions Allowed 


1987-88 


635 


67 


1988-89 


447 


71 


1989-90 


626 


106 


1990-91 


492 


53 


1991-92 


388 


70 


1992-93 


341 


63 


1993-94 


489 


77 


1994-95 


471 


61 


1995-96 


502 


72 


1996-97 


544 


88 



35 



NORTH CAROLINA SUPREME COURT 

Caseload Inventory 

July 1, 1996 - June 30, 1997 



Petitions for Review 

Civil domestic 

Juvenile 

Other civil 

Criminal 

Administrative agency decision 

Total Petitions for Review 

Appeals 

Civil domestic 

Petitions for review granted that became 
civil domestic appeals 

Juvenile 

Petitions for review granted that became 
juvenile appeals 

Other civil 

Petitions for review granted that became 
other civil appeals 

Criminal, defendant sentenced to death 

Criminal defendant sentenced to life imprisonment 

Other criminal 

Petitions for review granted that became 
other criminal appeals 

Administrative agency decision 
Petitions for review granted that became 
appeals of administrative agency decision 

Total Appeals 

Other Proceedings 

Rule 16(bj additional issues re dissent 
Requests for advisory opinion 
Motions 

Total Other Proceedings 



'ending 
7/1/96 


Filec 


5 


15 


3 


3 


47 


245 


35 


237 


10 


44 



100 



544 





Pending 


iposed 


6/30/97 


20 





5 


1 


251 


41 


229 


43 


51 


3 



556 



88 



2 


2 


4 





2 


1 


2 


1 





1 


1 

















8 


20 


25 


3 


24 


46 


37 


33 


35 


23 


35 


23 


39 


15 


45 


9 


3 


17 


11 


9 


2 


23 


8 


17 


6 


3 


8 


1 


1 


18 


12 


7 


122 


169 


188 


103 




60 


58 
















638 


628 





698 



686 



Petitions for review are cases in which the Court is asked to accept discretionary review of decisions of the Court 
'A Appeals as well as certain other tribunals The Appeals category comprises cases within the Court's appellate 
jurisdiction 



36 



NORTH CAROLINA SUPREME COURT 
July 1, 1996 - June 30, 1997 

SUBMISSION OF CASES REACHING DECISION STAGE 

Cases Argued 

Civil domestic 5 

Juvenile 1 

Other civil 58 

Criminal (death sentence) 30 

Criminal (life sentence) 32 

Other criminal 18 

Administrative agency decision 21 

Total cases argued 165 

Submissions Without Argument 

By motion of the parties (Appellate Rule 30 (d)) 

By order of the Court (Appellate Rule 30(f)) 

Total submissions without argument 

Total Cases Reaching Decision Stage 165 



DISPOSITION OF PETITIONS 









Dismissed/ 


Total 


Petitions for Review 


Granted* 


Denied 


Withdrawn 


Disposed 


Civil domestic 


1 


17 


2 


20 


Juvenile 





5 





5 


Other civil 


46 


200 


5 


251 


Criminal 


23 


195 


11 


229 


Administrative agency decision 


18 


31 


2 


51 


Total Petitions for Review 


88 


448 


20 


556 



*" Granted" includes order allowing relief without accepting the case as a full appeal. 



37 






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SUPREME COURT PROCESSING TIME 
FOR APPEALS DISPOSED BY OPINION* 

(Total time in days from docketing to opinion) 

July 1, 1996 - June 30, 1997 



Civil Domestic 

Petitions for review granted that became civil domestic appeals 

Juvenile 

Petitions for review granted that became juvenile appeals 

Other civil 

Petitions for review granted that became other civil appeals 

Criminal, defendant sentenced to death 

Criminal, defendant sentenced to life imprisonment 

Other criminal 

Petitions for review granted that became other criminal appeals 

Administrative agency decision 

Petitions for review granted that became appeals of administrative 
agency decision 



Number 


(Days) 


(Days) 


of Cases 


Median 


Mean 


4 


304 


306 


2 

1 


345 


345 



20 


222 


226 


36 


274 


302 


35 


364 


391 


44 


314 


354 


8 


210 


225 


9 


288 


281 


7 


169 


228 



13 



256 



282 



Total appeals disposed by opinion 



179 



289 



314 



* Only cases disposed by signed opinion or per curiam opinion are included here. (In years prior to 1 992-93, this table also 
included appeals that were disposed by dismissal or withdrawal.) 



39 



The Court of Appeals 



The three tables in the Court of Appeals subsection 
summarize filing and disposition activity in the Court 
of Appeals. These tables are based on data reported by 
the Clerk's office, which is responsible for entering and 
compiling the Court's data. 

In addition to trend data for the past ten years, the 
following tables provide filings and dispositions for 
cases on appeal, petitions, and motions during fiscal 
year 1996-97. "Cases on appeal" include cases ap- 
pealed from district courts, superior courts, and ad- 
ministrative agencies. They are counted as appeals 
only after a record is filed with the Clerk's office and a 
docket number is assigned. The "petition" category 
mcludes petitions involving only the four "extraordi- 



nary" writs set out in Article V of the Rules of Appel- 
late Procedure: certiorari, mandamus, prohibition, and 
supersedeas. "Motions" encompass any other type of 
relief sought from the Court of Appeals, either in a case 
already filed with the Court of Appeals, or one on its 
way to the Court of Appeals, but not yet filed. 

Cases on appeal represent the largest portion of the 
Court of Appeals' workload, since most are disposed 
by written opinion. The other methods of disposition, 
represented by the "Other Cases Disposed" category in 
the table at the bottom of the data page, include the 
court's dismissal of the appeal and the appealing 
party's withdrawal of the appeal. 



40 



NORTH CAROLINA COURT OF APPEALS 



FILINGS AND DISPOSITIONS DURING THE YEARS 1987-88 - 1996-97* 



Fiscal Year 


Filings 


Dispositions 


1987-88 


1,797 


1,718 


1988-89 


1,803 


1,573 


1989-90 


1,859 


1,797 


1990-91 


1,740 


1,829 


1991-92 


1,660 


1,451 


1992-93 


1,690 


1,465 


1993-94 


1,790 


1,929 


1994-95 


1,906 


1,796 


1995-96 


1,932 


1,826 


1996-97 


2,088 


2,018 



*Filings and dispositions shown here include appealed cases and petitions, but not motions. 



FILINGS AND DISPOSITIONS — July 1, 1996 - June 30, 1997 



Cases on appeal 

Civil cases appealed from district courts 
Civil cases appealed from superior courts 
Civil cases appealed from administrative agencies 
Criminal cases appealed from superior courts 
Totals 

Petitions 

Allowed 
Denied 
Remanded 
Totals 

Motions 

Allowed 
Denied 
Remanded 
Totals 

Total Cases on Appeal, Petitions, and Motions 



Filings 

246 
594 
149 
576 


Dispositions 


1,565 


1,559 




67 

392 




523 


459 




1,748 

462 




2,348 


2,210 


4,436 


4,228 



MANNER OF CASE DISPOSITIONS — July 1, 1996 - June 30, 1997 
Cases Disposed by Written Opinion 







Affirmed in Part, 


Other Cases 


Total Cases 


Affirmed 


Reversed 


Reversed in Part 


Disposed 


Disposed 


1,018 


207 


175 


159 


1,559 



41 



PART III, Section 2 



Trial Courts Data 

• Superior Court 

• District Court 



TRIAL COURTS CASE DATA 



This section presents summary data on the activity 
of the superior and district courts. The tables that 
follow provide statewide totals. Data for each district 
and county are provided throughout the year to local 
court officials and are available upon request from the 
Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC). 

The caseload inventory tables provide a statistical 
picture of caseflow during the year. Inventory tables 
show the number of cases pending at the beginning of 
the year (July 1), the number of new cases filed, the 
number of cases disposed during the year, and the 
number of cases left pending at the end of the year 
(June 30). However, for certain case types, including 
estates and special proceedings in superior court, and 
civil magistrate cases, criminal motor vehicle cases, 
and infractions cases in district court, no begin-pending 
or end-pending data are available. Further, only filings 
data are collected for district court civil license 
revocations. 

The tables also show the median ages of the cases 
pending at the end of the year, as well as the ages of 
cases disposed during the year. (Again, age data are 
not maintained on the case types identified above.) The 
median age of a group of cases is, by definition, the age 
of a hypothetical case that is older than 50% of the 
total set of cases and younger than the other 50%. 

The tables that follow also provide statewide data 
on juvenile cases. This includes data on matters 
alleged in juvenile petitions filed, as well as data 
relating to adjudicatory hearings held, during the year. 

Except for estates, special proceedings, and juvenile 
matters, caseload statistics come from the automated 
criminal, infraction, and civil modules of the AOC's 
Court Information System (CIS). 



The case statistics in this trial courts section have 
been summarized from the automated filing and 
disposition case data, as well as from manually 
reported case data. Pending case information is 
calculated from the filing and disposition data. The 
accuracy of the pending case figures is, of course, 
dependent upon timely and accurate data on filings and 
dispositions. 

Periodic comparisons by clerk personnel of their 
actual pending case files against the AOC's computer- 
produced pending case lists, followed by indicated 
corrections, are necessary to maintain completely 
accurate data in the AOC computer file. Yet, staff 
resources in the clerks' offices are not sufficient to 
make such physical inventory checks as frequently and 
as completely as would be necessary to maintain full 
accuracy in the AOC's computer files. Thus, it is 
recognized that there is some margin of error in the 
figures published in the following tables. 

Another accuracy -related problem inherent in the 
AOC's reporting system is the lack of absolute 
consistency in the published year-end and year- 
beginning pending figures. The number of cases 
pending at the end of a reporting year should ideally be 
identical to the number of published pending cases at 
the beginning of the next reporting year. However, 
experience has shown that inevitably some filings and 
dispositions that occurred in the preceding year are not 
reported until the subsequent year. The later-reported 
data are regarded as being more complete and are used 
in the current year's tables, thereby producing some 
differences between the prior year's end-pending 
figures and the current year's begin-pending figures. 



43 



CASELOAD INVENTORY AND MEDIAN AGES OF SUPERIOR COURT CASES 



July 1, 1996 - June 30, 1997 



Median Ages (in days)* 





Begin 
Pending 

21,226 


Filed 
22,960 


Disposed 
22,898 


End 
Pending 

21,288 


Disposed 
Cases 

271.0 


Pending 
Cases 


Civil Cases 


202.0 


Contract 


3,884 


4,943 


5,045 


3,782 


210.0 


194.0 


Collect on Accounts 


838 


1,573 


1,442 


969 


126.0 


150.0 


Motor Vehicle Negligence 


7,638 


7,790 


8,079 


7,349 


320.0 


199.0 


Other Negligence 


4,029 


2,798 


3,008 


3,819 


336.0 


236.0 


Real Property 


1,443 


1,325 


1,159 


1,609 


407.0 


223.0 


Administrative Appeal 


268 


313 


335 


246 


201.0 


244.0 


Other 


3,126 


4,218 


3,830 


3,514 


201.0 


206.0 


Estates 


— 


53,952 


53,888 


— 


— 


— 


Special Proceedings 


— 


59,270 


54,431 


— 


— 


— 


Criminal Cases 


52,044 


133,918 


127,337 


58,625 


141.0 


168.0 


Felonies 


34,994 


88,349 


82,773 


40,570 


151.0 


175.0 


Murder 


726 


712 


677 


761 


311.0 


280.0 


Manslaughter 


57 


101 


91 


67 


262.0 


195.0 


Rape and First Degree 
Sex Offense 


1,042 


1,493 


1,460 


1,075 


236.0 


228.0 


Other Sex Offenses 


1,535 


2,879 


2,505 


1,909 


191.0 


202.0 


Robbery 


1,950 


4,353 


4,014 


2,289 


152.0 


166.0 


Assault 


1,682 


3,446 


3,225 


1,903 


179.0 


207.0 


Burglary and Breaking 
or Entering 


5,188 


14,266 


13,883 


5,571 


139.0 


164.0 


Larceny 


2,752 


7,460 


6,984 


3,228 


148.0 


182.0 


Arson and Burnings 


222 


482 


435 


269 


168.0 


179.0 


Forgery and Uttenngs 


2,568 


9,016 


8,828 


2,756 


116.0 


160.0 


Fraudulent Activity 


2,803 


7,344 


6,590 


3,557 


154.0 


195.0 


Controlled Substances 


11,462 


28,987 


27,041 


13,408 


160.0 


172.0 


Other 


3,007 


7,810 


7,040 


3,777 


146.0 


164.0 


Misdemeanors 


17,050 


45,569 


44,564 


18,055 


123.0 


154.0 


Impaired Driving Appeals 


3,259 


6,865 


7,180 


2,944 


111.0 


108.0 


Other Motor Vehicle Appeals 


3,050 


7,312 


7,394 


2,968 


105.0 


104.0 


Non-Motor Vehicle Appeals 


7,250 


19,731 


19,222 


7,759 


144.0 


202.0 


Cases Originating in 
Superior Court 


3,491 


11,661 


10,768 


4,384 


104.0 


146.0 



" ' r.. this table, criminal cases in superior court are aged from their original filing date, which was the district court filing date if 
the r ^i .<; originated in district court (Data in annua! reports and supplements prior to FY96-97 aged such cases from their filing 
date in superior court and therefore excluded any time prior to transfer of such cases to superior court.) 



44 



MANNER OF DISPOSITION OF SUPERIOR COURT CASES 
July 1, 1996 - June 30, 1997 

Final Order/ 

Judgment 

Jury Judge Voluntary Without 

sal 



Trial 



Trial Dismissal Trial 



Clerk 



Other 



Civil Cases 


729 


2,426 


13,465 


2,940 


1,284 


2,054 


Contract 


76 


552 


2,734 


638 


551 


494 


Collect on Accounts 


10 


129 


556 


187 


428 


132 


Motor Vehicle Negligence 


389 


478 


6,241 


549 


27 


395 


Other Negligence 


151 


274 


1,858 


285 


112 


328 


Real Property 


35 


246 


355 


442 


14 


67 


Administrative Appeal 


3 


133 


103 


57 


2 


37 


Other 


65 


614 


1,618 


782 


150 


601 




Jury 
Trial 

3,321 


Guilty Plea 


DA Dismissal 

With Without 
Leave Leave* 






to Lesser 
Offense 


to Charged 
Offense 


Other 


Criminal Cases 


11,805 


53,081 


6,547 


34,015 


18,568 


Felonies 


2,252 


10,820 


41,830 


3,994 


22,582 


1,295 


Murder 


189 


340 


44 


12 


67 


25 


Manslaughter 


13 


31 


33 


1 


10 


3 


Rape and First Degree 
Sex Offense 


175 


349 


207 


39 


635 


55 


Other Sex Offenses 


143 


235 


1,101 


79 


906 


41 


Robbery 


308 


975 


1,585 


113 


971 


62 


Assault 


322 


944 


857 


109 


920 


73 


Burglary and Breaking 
or Entering 


187 


1,922 


8,740 


563 


2,298 


173 


Larceny 


100 


1,103 


3,354 


393 


1,928 


106 


Arson and Burnings 


18 


82 


209 


7 


100 


19 


Forgery and Utterings 


23 


669 


6,265 


502 


1,283 


86 


Fraudulent Activity 


88 


578 


3,753 


479 


1,600 


92 


Controlled Substances 


380 


2,885 


12,812 


1,344 


9,324 


296 


Other 


306 


707 


2,870 


353 


2,540 


264 


Misdemeanors 


1,069 


985 


11,251 


2,553 


11,433 


17,273 


Impaired Driving Appeals 


443 


270 


1,663 


453 


417 


3,934 


Other Motor Vehicle Appeals 


87 


392 


1,924 


671 


1,887 


2,433 


Non-Motor Vehicle Appeals 


400 


258 


5,036 


985 


4,814 


7,729 


Cases Originating in 
Superior Court 


139 


65 


2,628 


444 


4,315 


3,177 



*DA Dismissal Without Leave includes Dismissals after Deferred Prosecution. 



45 



CASELOAD INVENTORY AND MEDIAN AGES OF DISTRICT COURT CASES 



Julyl, 1996 -June 30, 1997 



Median Ages (in days) 





Begin 
Pending 


Filed 


Disposed 


End 
Pending 


Disposed 
Cases 


Pending 
Cases 


Civil Cases 


435,144 


434,300 


— 


Civil Magistrate (Small Claims) 


— 


271,994 


271,977 


— 


— 


— 


Civil District 


71,983 


163,150 


162,323 


72,810 


62.0 


168.0 


URESA/UIFSA 


3,629 


2,975 


3,857 


2,747 


210.0 


390.0 


Child Support (TV-D) 


13,183 


32,402 


33,595 


11,990 


8.0 


255.0 


Child Support (Non IV-D) 


8,589 


13,022 


12,907 


8,704 


91.0 


258.0 


Other Domestic Relations 


20,712 


64,506 


62,670 


22,548 


49.0 


126.0 


Subtotal Domestic Relations 


46,113 


112,905 


113,029 


45,989 


49.0 


207.0 


General Civil 


22,880 


44,646 


43,464 


24,062 


105.0 


136.0 


Magistrate Appeal/Transfer 


2,990 


5,599 


5,830 


2,759 


97.0 


118.0 


Subtotal General Civil and 














Magistrate Appeal/Transfer 


25,870 


50,245 


49,294 


26,821 


103.0 


133.0 


Criminal Cases 


— 


1,316,206 


1,282,037 


— 


— 


— 


Non-Motor Vehicle 


155,082 


657,933 


636,681 


176,334 


49.0 


70.0 


Motor Vehicle 


— 


658,273 


645,356 


— 


— 


— 


Infractions 


— 


701,034 


694,159 


— 


— 


— 


Civil License Revocations 


— 


65,683 


- 


— 


— 


— 


MANNER OF DISPOSITION OF DISTRICT COURT CASES 






July 1, 1996 - June 30, 1997 














Final Order/ 








Jury 
Trial 

253 


Judge 
Trill 


Voluntary 
Dismissal 


Judgment 
w/o Trial 


Clerk 


Other 


Civil Cases 


60,784 


21,842 


40,185 


20,032 


19,227 


URESA/UIFSA 


1 


878 


262 


1,356 


26 


1,334 


Child Support (IV-D) 


5 


5,608 


2,117 


21,072 


40 


4,753 


Child Support (Non IV-D) 


7 


5,204 


1,573 


4,530 


50 


1,543 


Other Domestic Relations 


7 


44,159 


4,554 


7,846 


108 


5,996 


Subtotal Domestic Relations 


20 


55,849 


8,506 


34,804 


224 


13,626 


General Civil 


178 


3,219 


12,113 


4,442 


18,832 


4,680 


Magistrate Appeal/Transfer 


55 


1,716 


1,223 


939 


976 


921 


Subtotal General Civil and 














Magistrate Appeal/Transfer 


233 


4,935 


13,336 


5,381 


19,808 


5,601 


Worthless 






DA Dismissal 




Probable 


Check 
Criminal Cases Waiver 


Guilty 
Plea 


Trial 


With 
Leave 


Without 
Leave* 


Other 


Cause 
Matters 


Non-Motor Vehicle 49,486 


201,575 


37,539 


39,225 


186,425 


37,348 


85,083 


Motor Vehicle War 


vcr. 112,357 




Non-Waiver 


532,999 




Infractions Waiver: 406,913 




Non-Waiver 


287,246 





'I;/-. Dismissal Without Leave includes Dismissals after Deferred Prosecution. 



46 



MATTERS ALLEGED IN JUVENILE PETITIONS 
July 1, 1996 - June 30, 1997 



Delinquent Offenses 

Capital 
Other Felony 
Misdemeanor 

Undisciplined Offenses 

Truancy 
Other 

Conditions 

Dependent 

Neglected 

Abused 

Parental Rights Petition 

Total Petitions 



28,256 

9 

8,222 

20,025 

3,866 

385 
3,481 

9,756 

2,076 
4,927 
1,144 
1,609 

41,878 



ADJUDICATORY HEARINGS FOR JUVENILE MATTERS 
July 1, 1996 - June 30, 1997 





Retained 
20,023 


Dismissed 
9,367 


Total 


Delinquency Hearings 


29,390 


Undisciplined Hearings 


1,823 


964 


2,787 


Dependency Hearings 


2,472 


405 


2,877 


Neglect Hearings 


5,208 


887 


6,095 


Abuse Hearings 


1,179 


315 


1,494 




Terminated 
1,399 


Not 
Terminated 

172 


Total 


Parental Rights 


1,571 


Total Hearings 






44,214 



47 



PART III, Section 3 



Special Programs Data 

• Arbitration 

• Custody Mediation 

• Community Penalties 



SPECIAL PROGRAMS DATA 



This section presents data on three special programs of the Administrative Office of the Courts. 
The cases reported in these tables do not represent cases in addition to those reported in the trial 
courts section. The cases are set out separately here to summarize the program activity of the three 
programs — arbitration, custody mediation, and community penalties — all of which are discussed 
in more detail in the description of the present court system in Part I. 



49 



ARBITRATION ACTIVITY 
July 1, 1996 - June 30, 1997 



Cases Noticed for Arbitration 1 



Summary of De Novo Appeal Activity 





District 


Superior 




Cases 


Appeals 




Dismissal/ 


Pending 




Court 


Court 


Total 


Arbitrated 


Filed 


Trials 


Other 


6/30/97 


District 1 


















Camden 











2 


3 





1 


2 


Chowan 


18 





18 


14 


1 








1 


Currituck 


3 





3 


6 


2 








2 


Dare 


3 





3 


23 


8 





5 


3 


Gates 


5 





5 


9 


2 








2 


Pasquotank 


17 





17 


30 


9 


5 





4 


Perquimans 


5 





5 


3 














District Totals 


51 





51 


87 


25 


5 


6 


14 


District 3A 


















Pitt 


155 


10 


165 


153 


57 


9 


20 


28 


District 3B 


















Carteret 


63 


3 


66 


74 


23 


5 


7 


11 


Craven 


101 


2 


103 


76 


23 


5 


9 


9 


Pamlico 


10 





10 


8 


5 


1 


2 


2 


District Totals 


174 


5 


179 


158 


51 


11 


18 


22 


District 5 


















New Hanover 


186 


1 


187 


145 


24 


11 


8 


5 


Pender 


25 





25 


20 


5 


1 


2 


2 


District Totals 


211 


1 


212 


165 


29 


12 


10 


7 


District 8A 


















Greene 


19 





19 


12 


1 





1 





Lenoir 


56 





56 


53 


7 





1 


6 


District Totals 


75 





75 


65 


8 





2 


6 


District 8B 


















Wayne 


160 


3 


163 


145 


21 


2 


8 


11 


District 10 


















Wake 


607 





607 


417 


119 


21 


54 


44 


District 14 


















Durham 


225 


15 


240 


182 


72 


7 


27 


38 


District 15A 


















Alamance 


58 





58 


42 


8 


1 


1 


6 


District 15B 


















Chatham 


12 





12 


14 














Orange 


95 





95 


64 


6 








6 


District Totals 


107 





107 


78 


6 








6 


District 16B 2 


















Robeson 


























District 18 


















Guilford 


471 


3 


474 


317 


94 


15 


18 


61 


District 19B 


















Montgomery 


12 





12 


14 


1 


1 








Moore 


26 





26 


3 


1 








1 


Randolph 


4^ 





43 


41 


7 


5 


1 


1 


District Totals 


XI 





81 


S8 


9 


6 


1 


2 



so 



Arbitration Activity, July 1, 1996 - June 30, 1997 
(Continued) 



Cases Noticed for Arbitration 1 



Summary of De Novo Appeal Activity 





District 


Superior 




Cases 


Appeals 




Dismissal/ 


Pending 




Court 


Court 


Total 


Arbitrated 


Filed 


Trials 


Other 


6/30/97 


District 19C 4 


















Rowan 


96 





96 


49 


11 


1 


2 


8 


District 20A 4 


















Anson 


10 





10 


5 


1 








1 


Richmond 


16 





16 


7 


3 








3 


District Totals 


26 





26 


12 


4 








4 


District 20B 4 


















Stanly 


2 





2 

















Union 


11 


2 


13 


3 


1 








1 


District Totals 


13 


2 


15 


3 


1 








1 


District 24 


















Avery 


10 





10 


5 


2 


1 





1 


Madison 


13 





13 


6 














Mitchell 


7 





7 


1 














Watauga 


33 





33 


16 


2 





1 


1 


Yancey 


9 





9 


1 


1 








1 


District Totals 


72 





72 


29 


5 


1 


1 


3 


District 25A 


















Burke 


78 





78 


42 


8 


2 





6 


Caldwell 


75 





75 


42 


15 


1 


3 


11 


District Totals 


153 





153 


84 


23 


3 


3 


17 


District 25B 


















Catawba 


160 


1 


161 


97 


31 


1 


4 


26 


District 26 


















Mecklenburg 


1,499 





1,499 


1,138 


428 


91 


248 


89 


District 27A 


















Gaston 


216 


221 


437 


372 


156 


19 


80 


57 


District 27B 


















Cleveland 


86 





86 


39 


9 


2 


2 


5 


Lincoln 


45 





45 


16 


4 


1 


1 


2 


District Totals 


131 





131 


55 


13 


3 


3 


7 


District 29 


















Henderson 


56 


3 


59 


48 


2 


2 








McDowell 


27 





27 


15 


1 


1 








Polk 


9 





9 


6 














Rutherford 


63 





63 


64 


9 


5 


1 


3 


Transylvania 


5 





5 


5 


2 


2 








District Totals 


160 


3 


163 


138 


14 


10 


i 


3 


District 30A 


















Cherokee 


39 





39 


21 


2 





2 





Clay 


3 





3 

















Graham 


12 





12 


9 














Macon 


16 





16 


18 


6 


1 


2 


3 


Swain 


2 





2 





1 


1 








District Totals 


72 





72 


48 


9 


2 


4 


3 



51 



Arbitration Activity, July 1, 1996 - June 30, 1997 
(Continued) 



Cases Noticed for Arbitration 



Summary of De Novo Appeal Activity 





District 
Court 


Superior 
Court 


Total 


Cases 
Arbitrated 


Appeals 
Filed Trials 


Dismissal/ 
Other 


Pending 
6/30/97 


District 30B 

Haywood 
Jackson 

District Totals 


61 
33 
94 







61 
33 
94 


36 

32 
68 


13 1 

4 1 

17 2 


4 

1 
5 


8 

2 

10 


TOTALS 


5,067 


264 


5,331 


3,960 1,211 222 

(30.6% of 
cases arbitrated) 


516 


473 



Cases in which parties are notified that a case has been assigned to court-ordered arbitration. Such notification 
occurs at the conclusion of the pleadings phase, or upon the filing of a small claims appeal, for all arbitration- 
eligible cases. 
" Court officials in District 16B report that no arbitration-eligible, contested cases were filed during FY96-97. 
In January 1997, Moore County was transferred from District 20A, which has a program that started during 
FY96-97, to District 19B, which had a pre-existing program. 
FY96-97 is this program's first year of operation; due to startup efforts, first-year data may not be representative. 



52 



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